We just heard that one of the last of the greats has passed at 93. Ricou Browning was an actor, producer, stuntman, and director, but he’s best known for playing the Gill Man in CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and its sequels. Rest in peace to a legend.
Ricou Browning (born February 16, 1930) is an American film director, actor, producer, screenwriter, underwater cinematographer, and stuntman. He is best known for his underwater stunts, most notably in the 1954 film “The Creature From the Black Lagoon,” in which he played the titular Gilman (actor Ben Chapman in Play as the creature on land).
Browning reprized the role for the underwater scenes in the film’s sequels, “The Revenge of the Creature” and “The Creature Walks Among Us.” He’s the last surviving original actor to play one of Universal’s classic monsters. Browning also co-created Pinball with Jack Corden and directed several episodes of the 1960s TV series.
Browning, who made his feature film directorial debut with Salty (1973), also co-wrote the screenplay with Cowden and later directed Mr. Legless (1978). In 1965, Browning directed Eon Productions’ fourth James Bond film, Thunderball, and the underwater sequences in the Bond film Never Say Never (1983). He also directed underwater scenes in the comedies Hello, There (1969) and Caddy’s Cabin (1980). A native of Florida, Browning was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2019, he was inducted into the Monster Kid Hall of Fame at the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards.