Clarence Brown was an American film director.
Born in Clinton, Massachusetts, to a cotton manufacturer, Brown moved to the South when he was eleven. He attended Knoxville High School and the University of Tennessee, both in Knoxville, Tennessee, graduating from the university at the age of 19 with two degrees in engineering. An early fascination in automobiles led Brown to a job with the Stevens-Duryea Company, then to his own Brown Motor Car Company in Alabama. He later abandoned the car dealership after developing an interest in motion pictures around 1913. He was hired by the Peerless Studio at Fort Lee, New Jersey, and became an assistant to the great French-born director Maurice Tourneur.
After serving in World War I, Brown was given his first co-directing credit for 1920s The Great Redeemer. Later that year, he directed a major portion of The Last of the Mohicans after Tourneur was injured in a fall.
Brown moved to Universal in 1924, and then to MGM, where he stayed until the mid-1950s. At MGM he was one of the main directors of their female stars–he directed both Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo six times. Garbo referred to Brown as her favorite director.