We are very sorry to report the news that legendary performer Ricou Browning, the man who played the iconic Universal Monster Gill-Man in “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” has passed away. Browning was at his home in Southwest Ranches, Florida when he passed due to natural causes on February 27th. The news was confirmed by his daughter, Kim Browning. He is known for his fabulous career in the film industry that provided entertainment for both past and future generations.
Browning started his career in the film industry as a stuntman in Richard Fleischer’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (1954). Later he doubled for Jerry Lewis in “Don’t Give Up the Ship” (1959). Browning also played all the villains in the tv series “Sea Hunt.” He also directed the harpoon-filled fight in “Thunderball” (1965), another underwater scene in “Never Say Never Again” (1983), and the famous “Jaws“-inspired candy bar-in-the-pool sequence in “Caddyshack” (1980). In addition to portraying the Gill-Man, he earned recognition for directing the beloved family television show, “Flipper.” The show ran from 1964 to 1967 with a total of 88 episodes.
Browning’s legacy as an underwater performer and filmmaker has inspired many in the film industry. People credit his work on the “Creature from the Black Lagoon” as an influence for later films such as “Jaws” and the “Shape of Water.” The unique costume design of the Gill-Man is a testament to the creativity and technical skill that went into creating movie monsters during the early days of Hollywood.
In addition to his work in the film industry, Browning was also a dedicated family man. His four children, all of whom have followed in his footsteps in some capacity, survive him by continuing his legacy. Ricou Browning Jr. is a marine coordinator, actor and stuntman like his father, while his daughters Renee, Kelly and Kim have all pursued careers in the entertainment industry.
Browning’s passing marks the end of an era in Hollywood history. The film industry will remember his contributions for generations, and his influence on underwater performance and film-making is immeasurable. As we look back on his life and legacy, we can take solace in the fact that his work will continue to inspire and entertain audiences for years to come.
He was 93.