- "[Owen] was a straight-forward curmudgeon – which I am anyway, so it was easy for me to play. I've been a curmudgeon for a long time."
- ―Phil Brown
Brown's acting career extended back to the 1930s, including stage and film roles. In the 1950s, he was blacklisted during the McCarthy era, despite the fact that he was never a member of the Communist Party. Unable to find work in Hollywood due to the unfounded accusations, he relocated his family to England, where he built a successful acting and directing career over the next forty years.
After returning to the U.S. in 1993, Brown was a popular figure at conventions, including Celebration II where he was able to personally meet Joel Edgerton, who played Owen Lars in Episodes II and III. He retired from acting and directing due to his declining health, and died of pneumonia in 2006 at the age of 89.