Ricou Browning, underwater film star from “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” dies at 93

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Underwater film star and filmmaker Ricou Browning, who gained fame for his role as the Creature in the classic horror film “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” has passed away at the age of 93.

According to reports, Browning died on February 27 at his home in Southwest Ranches, Florida.

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Browning, who was born and raised in Florida, attended Florida State University before beginning his career working with underwater film pioneer Newt Perry at Wakulla Springs and Weeki Wachee Springs, where he helped create underwater promotions.

Mozert Collection
Mozert Collection
Mozert Collection
Mozert Collection
Mozert Collection
Mozert Collection
Mozert Collection
Mozert Collection

In 1953, Browning’s underwater swimming abilities caught the attention of a film production crew scouting Wakulla Spring for the movie “Creature from the Black Lagoon.”

Browning became famous for portraying the Creature, also known as the Gill-man, in all the underwater scenes in “Creature from the Black Lagoon” and its two sequels, “Revenge of the Creature” and “The Creature Walks Among Us.”

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The films helped popularize Silver Springs and Weeki Wachee Springs as tourist destinations.

Browning also co-wrote and co-produced the 1963 film “Flipper” about the exploits of a bottlenose dolphin.

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In addition to his work in film, Browning was a pioneer in underwater photography and was known for his innovative techniques.

Those interested in learning more about his work can find additional resources at the State Archives in the Bruce Mozert Photographic Collection.

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