Alum paves way for future stunt workers


The significance of having a Black History month is to recognize those African-Americans who paved the way for us to have equal opportunities in a once segregated society. 

Martin Luther King Jr. did it in politics, Rosa Parks did it socially and Jackie Robinson did it in sports. An African-American historic figure that may not be familiar to most people, helped desegregate the television industry and he is a Grambling graduate. 

Calvin Brown, 78, graduated from Grambling in 1957. After graduation he moved to California, worked for the US Postal Service and shortly after he embarked in an illustrious career in the film industry.

He became the first recognized African-American stuntman in Hollywood. Not only did he pioneer for Black stuntmen, but also he worked along side one of the most revered actors to this day, Bill Cosby. 

“Cosby and I were the first Blacks to integrate a television series,” Brown said. “It means everything to me. Since I left Grambling, I was able to do things I like to do.  It’s been a great blessing to me.”

He and Cosby worked together from 1965-1968 on I Spy, an American television secret-agent adventure series that ran on NBC. 

“It’s been fantastic working with Bill Cosby,” Brown said. “He is the best person you could ever work for. We worked so long together, we’re considered friends. Anything that you needed if Bill could supply it, he did it. He always had a helping hand out there if you need it, but you have to work with him.”

Since then, his relationship with Cosby has grown and they have worked on several other projects.

In fact, this summer, the two friends are going to work on a new television series. Brown said he’s going to fly out to New York to be a stand in for Cosby in their new sitcom that is expected to air on NBC next fall. 

Brown has done stunt work for film and television. Mission Impossible, The Wild Wild West, The Split, I Spy Returns and Blank Check are a few of his past jobs. He has worked as a stunt double for Jim Brown and Greg Morris.

He has also performed several small character roles.