Lowenfish: The remarkable baseball passion of comic actor Joe E. Brown

From SABR member Lee Lowenfish at The National Pastime Museum on July 28, 2016:

Mention the name Joe E. Brown these days, and probably the only item that comes to mind is the last line he delivered in Billy Wilder’s classic 1959 film, Some Like It Hot. Brown plays the millionaire playboy Osgood Fielding III and is infatuated with Jack Lemmon, who is impersonating a woman Big Band saxophonist to elude Prohibition Era gangsters. Osgood is unperturbed when Lemmon’s “Geraldine” removes his wig at the end of the film and tells him they can’t marry because he’s a man. “Well, nobody’s perfect,” Osgood blithely answers, a closing line that has been widely cited as the best in the history of movies.

What our culture has forgotten is that Joe E. Brown was a major star on Broadway musical stages in the 1920s and a Top 10 box office attraction on Hollywood screens in the 1930s, vying for popularity among younger audiences with Shirley Temple. During World War II he tirelessly entertained American troops in the Pacific, prompting General Douglas MacArthur to declare that no civilian had done more for the war effort than Joe E. Brown.

What makes Brown’s life of special interest to you, dear National Pastime reader, is that a love of baseball permeated every pore of his being.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/remarkable-baseball-passion-comic-actor-joe-e-brown

Originally published: July 28, 2016. Last Updated: July 28, 2016.