Former Grambling resident dies

Jophery Brown, a former Grambling State University baseball standout and later a professional stuntman, has died from complications of cancer treatment. 

“He was one of the best guys you’ll ever want to know,” older brother Calvin Brown, 78, said. He was a good brother and he was the greater voice of the family.”

Brown, 68, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 11 in California, 11 days before his 69th birthday.

He will be remembered by his wife Lois Brown, brother Calvin, daughter Liana Brown, son Tyrone Brown and a host of grandchildren, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Brown, who was first diagnosed with anal cancer eight months ago, was born in Grambling in 1945. 

He attended Alma J. Brown Elementary School, Grambling High School and which was then Grambling College; Grambling became a university in 1974. 

Although he played basketball, football and baseball was the sport in which he excelled. 

“He was a heck of an athlete, nice person and he’ll help you out in any kind of way you wanted,” Johnny Gray, high school teammate and friend said. “He was a perfectionist. He would always make sure you were prepared in shape, conditioned and made sure you did your job.”

His outstanding collegiate career resulted in him being a second round draft pick by the Chicago Cubs in 1966.

At 23, Brown made his major league debut made in on September 21, 1968 as a pitcher against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was only because of a torn rotary cup, his professional baseball career was cut short.

Brown didn’t let his injury prevent him from thriving in life. Later on that year, Brown retired from the major leagues and used his athleticism to prosper in the film industry.

He linked up with his older brother Calvin, who was already a stuntman in California, and followed his footsteps to become the pioneers of African American stuntmen in Hollywood. 

Jophery and his brother helped break the barrier of African American men acting in Hollywood. In his long career that spanned over 40 years and included over 400 films and television shows, Brown has doubled Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones, Denzel Washington, Bill Cosby, and Sidney Poitier.

He furthered his career as a stuntman and later became a stunt coordinator. He worked on several projects which includes: “Scarface”, “Die Hard”, “Predator, “Kiss The Girls,” “Bad Boys II” and “Speed”, in which he completed his most notable stunt. 

In the movie, Brown executed the jump for real in a specially modified version of the bus, but there was never a gap – that section of the freeway was digitally removed. 

The bus needed a one-mile run-up and hit the ramp at about 60 mph, sailing through 109 feet of air. 

His career became legendary.

 He earned both the Taurus Lifetime Achievement Award and the NAACP Life Time Achievement Award and he was inducted into Stunts Unlimited.