CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio contributed more than just locations for “The Shawshank Redemption,” a film that has risen in popularity every year since its September 1994 release. Many actors from across the state were cast in roles important enough to win them on-screen credit.
The most prominent Ohio native in the movie based on Stephen King’s novella is Clancy Brown, an imposing presence as vicious captain of the guard Byron Hadley.
Although Brown already was established as an actor in Hollywood when “The Shawshank Redemption” began filming in Mansfield, Upper Sandusky, Ashland and nearby towns in 1993, he was no stranger to Ohio summers. He grew up in Urbana, a drive of about 100 miles to Mansfield.
His dad is former newspaper publisher and United States representative Clarence “Bud” Brown, who ran for governor of Ohio in 1982.
“Mansfield is far enough away from Urbana that I didn’t have to go to my parents’ house every weekend,” said Brown, also known as the voice of Mr. Krabs on “SpongeBob SquarePants.” ”One thing that freaked out the New York and L.A. dudes was that there was a big rabid raccoon infestation at some point. It brought me back. The New York and L.A. dudes didn’t quite understand land with endless rows of corn.”
Brown and Larry Brandenburg, who played Skeet, rented a farmhouse near Loudonville, about 20 miles southeast of Mansfield
“It was really nice,” Brown said. “It was a long shoot, and to go back to a hotel every single night would have been intensely depressing. So Larry Brandenburg and I found this great farmhouse. Larry is from rural Minnesota, so he knew what country was, too. We went out there, watching ballgames and shooting stars, playing basketball, drinking too much. That was fun.”
While Brown was cast in Hollywood by director Frank Darabont and his team, many actors from Cleveland and Cincinnati attended auditions held around the state.
Most of the Cleveland area actors traveled to downtown Mansfield to audition on May 5, 1993. The casting notice sent out in late April said that only those interested in speaking parts should audition. More than 300 actors and wannabe actors showed up for the auditions overseen by casting director for Ohio and day players, D. Lynn Meyer.
Those cast in the film that day included Scott Mann (as Glenn Quentin, the golf pro having an affair with Andy Dufresne’s wife), Renee Blaine (Andy’s wife), Morgan Lund (the driver of the laundry truck that delivers Andy’s rock hammer to Shawshank), James Kisicki (the bank manager at the end of the film), Dorothy Silver (the 1954 landlady who lets Brooks into his hotel room) and Rohn Thomas (the editor of the Portland Daily Bugle).
Clancy Brown, who grew up in Urbana, played the role of guard captain Byron Hadley in the movie “Shawshank Redemption.” AP File Photo