HORROR film legend Ricou Browning, who famously portrayed the frightening underwater monster Gill-man in 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon, has died at age 93.
Actor Ricou Browning who played the underwater creature Gill-man in the 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon, died on MondayBobby Bank/WireImageGettyBrowning on the scene Gill-man[/caption]
GettyBrowning reprised his role as Gill-man in the sequels, Revenge of the Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us[/caption]
“He had a fabulous career in the film industry, providing wonderful entertainment for past and future generations,” the late actor’s daughter Kim Browning told The Hollywood Reporter.
Directed by Jack Arnold, Creature from the Black Lagoon follows a group of scientists who discover an amphibious humanoid in the depths of the Amazon jungle.
Browning portrayed Gill-man underwater, while actor Ben Chapman played the sea creature on land.
The film’s success ultimately led to a pair of sequels, including Revenge of the Creature in 1955 and The Creature Walks Among Us in 1956.
Browning reprised his role as Gill-man in the underwater scenes in both sequels.
Browning once noted that the costume “was cumbersome at first.”
“When I first put it on, it seemed awkward and clumsy. But once I got into the movie, I forgot I had it on. I became the creature,” he said in an interview in 2019.
He described how some of his underwater stunts included having to put an “air hose into his mouth to breathe.”
“The lips of the suit sat about a half-inch from my lips, and I put the air hose in my mouth to breathe,” he said.
“I would hold my breath and go do the scene, and I’d have other safety people with other air hoses to give me air if I needed it.
“We had a signal. If I went totally limp, it meant I needed it. It worked out well, and we didn’t have any problems.”
In addition to his work as the aquatic creature, the actor also served as a marine action coordinator in two James Bond movies, Thunderball (1965) and Never Say Never Again (1983).
He also appeared in roles in the films Flipper, Hello Down There, Salty and Caddyshack, among others.
Browning is survived by his four children, Ricou Browning Jr., Renee, Kelly and Kim; 10 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
His wife, Fran, died in March 2020.