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Casting Call: Actor Of African Descent To Play Bantamweight Boxing Champ 'Panama' Al Brown

by Tambay A. Obenson
September 11, 2012 1:22 PM
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I was contacted by a casting director in Paris, France, hoping I could assist with finding an actor to play the lead role in a film based on the relationship between bantamweight boxing world champion Alfonso Teofilo Brown, better known as "Panama" Al Brown, and French poet Jean Cocteau, who would become his close friend, adviser, manager, and maybe lover.

I found an 8-page article on Sports Illustrated's website, dated March 2, 1964, titled How Cocteau Managed A Champion, which goes into great detail about thie partnership. You can read the entire piece HERE.

The casting director says that they are looking specifically an actor of African descent (Alfonso Brown was Panamanian by the way - photo of him above), between 30 and 35 years old (or can play that age), who can speak a little French, and is both tall and thin (Brown was 6ft tall and weighed 118 pounds - wow! - with a reach of 76 inches).

It is a feature film that will be shot in France and Luxemburg in 2013, and, as noted, is inspired by the true story of the former champion Brown and French poet Jean Cocteau, who met in Paris in the 1930s, as Cocteau went on to become his manager and more... it's believed that Brown was gay and that he had had a lengthy romance with Cocteau.

I can't reveal anymore than what I already have. 

But I told the casting director that I would post this notice here, and see what you guys come up with, because I couldn't immediately think of anyone for the part. Again, the hunt is for an actor African descent. It's a wide pool, the world over, and I'm stomped. 

Maybe you folks can assist...?

Here's 'Panama' Al Brown doing some damage in the ring, in the 1930s:

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  • Steve Barr | July 14, 2014 11:06 AMReply

    Can't help you with a potential candidate but I would like to know how the project progresses.

    My Grandfather, Dick Burke, boxed Al twice in the 1930's. I have some interesting recollections he made of those fights and I would like to see the end product if possible.

    Best regards

  • Anji Ray | July 18, 2013 4:17 AMReply

    Hi love, I am an actor in Los Angeles and wanted to email with you privately about this project. Time permitting, could you please reach out to me with the email address that I've provided? Thank You!!!

  • Avery Sinclair | September 19, 2012 1:28 AMReply

    Check out McKinley Belchèr III. I met this young actor on the set of John Sayles upcoming feature film, where he was playing a supporting role. He's a great up-and-coming young actor, with emotional depth and there's a great honesty about his work. I believe he's Senegalese, and I'm pretty sure he speaks French among a few other languages. He's probably about 6ft or maybe 6'1", and he's athletic but thin.

  • Donna | September 13, 2012 12:30 PMReply

    You're right Larry, I saw David Adams in a production called Radio Golf....This guy was excellent... His looks are totally Carribean......He's thin, tall, handsome and of Cuban descent!!...This guy has a list of credits amile long.....Worth seeing in any production....You guys should check him out!!!!!

  • Boomslang | September 12, 2012 4:04 AMReply

    Maybe you should give this gig to Gilles duarte ( stomy bugsy ) or Sebastien foucan . They both are French . Basti is athletic and probably need acting classes .

    And please y'all quit with the Aldis and the likes . Don't nobody wanna watch a movie with the same old 7 blacktors. Its boring.

  • Larry | September 12, 2012 12:02 AMReply

    I think you should look at Chicago actor, David Adams..very slim, but athletic body, Caribbeen looks. He could play this role.

  • hoot | September 11, 2012 3:17 PMReply

    I'd say one these unknown vets in Black Hollywood who hasn't had their break but manage to stay afloat with bit parts...that's were the meat and flavor lies. Perhaps someones who's done comedy and drama..a REAL actor...not just "STARS"

  • Dazza | September 11, 2012 2:08 PMReply

    An actor of the right height with long arms and a facility with both french and spanish (plus an EU passport). Had a look at his wiki-bio and found a few other things in common...would love to give it a shot. Thanks for the heads up and Bless.
    (video reel on the page too.)

  • Cordell | September 11, 2012 1:57 PMReply

    Hmm this is going to be hard. Here are some names off the top of my head Aldis Hodge ("Leverage"), Nate Parker, Anthony Mackie, Chiwetel Ejiofor,

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