KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — You’ve probably heard the name Clarence Brown quite often, but maybe you don’t know a whole lot about him. The Clarence Brown Theater at the University of Tennessee is named after him.

Brown was an American film director born in Clinton, Massachusetts. His family moved to Knoxville in the early 1900s. According to the Clarence Brown Theater website, he attended Knoxville High and graduated from UTK with two degrees in engineering at 19.

After graduating, his fascination with cars would lead Brown to open his own car dealership in Alabama. Around 1913, he developed an interest in creating movies and would become an assistant to the French-born director Maurice Tourneur.

After serving in World War I, Brown gained his first co-directing credit with Tourneur for The Great Redeemer in 1920. Later that year, he directed one of his most popular films, The Last of the Mohicans. He would also direct several films including Anna Karenina, Angels in the Outfield, and A Free Soul. He worked with some of the biggest names of the 1920s including Greta Garbo, Clark Gable and Joan Crawford.

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Over the years, he would be nominated several times for an Academy Award but never win. In fact, he holds the record for most nominations for the Academy Award for Best Director without a win at six.

Brown retired in 1953 after directing over 50 films. According to UT, after his retirement, his fifth wife, Marian Ruth Spies, encouraged him to reconnect with his alma mater. This would lead to the inception of the Clarence Brown Theatre which was formally dedicated in November of 1970. Following his death in 1987, Spies’ support and Brown’s pride resulted in $12 million for the university and the creation of the Clarence Brown Collection in the John C. Hodges Library Special Collections.