The Philadelphia Eagles announced the death of Timmy Brown, one of the greatest players in the franchise's 87-year history Tuesday afternoon. Brown was 82 years old.
Brown was named to the Eagles' 75th Anniversary Team in 2007 and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame 1960s All-Decade Team. He was a two-time All-Pro selection and ranked in the top five in the NFL in yards per touch in five of six seasons (1961-1965, 1967).
After his playing days, Brown had a second career as an actor and songwriter. Brown was in the 1970 film M*A*S*H as Dr. Oliver Jones and in the first season of the popular TV series based. He was also in films such as Sweet Sugar, Dynamite Brothers, and Nashville, appearing in over 20 movies and TV shows throughout his acting career.
Brown was a member of the Eagles' 1960 NFL championship team, but began to make a huge impact with the franchise in 1961. Brown set a NFL record with a 105-yard kick return for a touchdown (which remained the longest in Eagles history until Josh Huff had a 107-yard return in 2014) that season. He led the NFL with 811 return yards, averaging 28.0 yards per return.
Brown became the Eagles primary running back in 1962, leading the NFL with 2,306 all-purpose yards (912 return yards, 545 rushing yards, 849 receiving yards) and 12 total touchdowns while also earning the first of three Pro Bowl selections. Brown finished with 2,428 all-purpose yards (1,097 return yards, 841 rushing yards, 487 receiving yards) and 11 touchdowns the following season (1963), leading the league in kick return yards.
Brown led the NFL with 5.4 yards per carry in 1965, rushing for 861 yards and six touchdowns. He also had 682 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Brown finished with 1,543 yards from scrimmage in 1965, which was a career-high.
Injuries slowed the 5-foot-9 Brown down in his final two years with the Eagles. Brown finished his Eagles career with 7,049 all-purpose yards (3,703 rushing, 3,346 receiving) and 55 touchdowns.
Brown spent his final season with the Baltimore Colts in 1968, scoring a touchdown in the NFL Championship Game. His 12,684 all-purpose yards were fourth in NFL history by his retirement.
Brown was a great player on poor Eagles teams in the 1960s, but was still named to the 1960s All-Decade Team. A brutal hit by Dallas Cowboys linebacker Lee Roy Jordan on an overthrown pass led to Brown suffering a broken jaw, as the cheap shot started the Eagles rivalry with the Cowboys that still lasts today.
Brown remains one of the most popular players in Eagles history.
"Timmy Brown was an all-time great Eagle and one of the most dynamic multipurpose players of his era. He overcame many obstacles in his life to enjoy success both as an athlete and as an entertainer," Eagles' Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said in a press release. "A three-time Pro Bowler and member of our 1960 NFL Championship team, Timmy excelled as a running back and return specialist with his incredible athleticism and signature versatility. He was one of the most exciting players to watch during his career. Those who knew him well have said they will remember him for his outgoing, uplifting personality and the connections he built with his teammates and the community. Our thoughts are with his loved ones during this time."