Tom Brown's show business career lasted a lifetime. Born in 1913, Brown broke into the business at age 2. Throughout his childhood he performed in advertisements and radio broadcasts and on the New York stage. In 1924 he jumped to Hollywood, where he enjoyed a 50-year acting career in both film and television. In the 1960s and '70s he played roles in the popular television series "General Hospital" and "Days of Our Lives."
Brown's career represented many different things to the different generations who followed him. To his earliest audiences, he was a fresh face. Brown, who was the son of vaudevillian Harry Brown and musical comedy star Marie Francis, may have been most famous for his starring role in Buster Brown shoe advertisements. As a boy he also modeled for Buick and Arrow Collar.
Once he arrived in Hollywood, Brown normally portrayed baby-faced collegians, kid brothers or cadets. His first film role came in "The Hoosier Schoolmaster" in 1924. He made several films in the 1920s and '30s, among them "Tom Brown of Culver," "Anne of Green Gables," "Maytime," "In Old Chicago" and "The Duke of West Point."
Brown vainly tried to change his image after serving in World War II, during which he was decorated for bravery.
He made few films after the 1950s and moved to television. There he was rancher Ed O'Connor on "Gunsmoke" and the police lieutenant on "Mr. Lucky," in addition to his ongoing portrayals of Al Weeks on "General Hospital" and Nathan Curtis on "Days of Our Lives."