Al Brown, Star in Crime Drama 'The Wire,' Dies at 83: Know The Death Cause & His Wife

Fans who are familiar with The Wire must surely remember City Police Maj. Stanislaus “Stan” Valchek, the morally gray and vindictive character who had questionable ethics. Al Brown, the actor who played the character sadly passed away at the start of 2023.

Not only was Brown a celebrated actor, but he was also an Army Veteran. He is well remembered as a brother, husband, father, and grandfather in his family.

The Wire Star Al Brown Died At 83

Brown passed away in the early morning of January 13th, 2023. He was eighty-three years of age at the time of his passing. According to his daughter Jennifer Brown Thomas, he died peacefully in his sleep.

A picture of Al Brown from The Wire.
A picture of Al Brown from The Wire. (Source: TV Line)

Brown died after a two-year struggle with Alzheimer's disease. His cause of death was due to complications and old age. He was hospitalized for a long time before his passing.

Net Worth: How Rich Was Brown & The Wire Star Cast?

At the time of his passing, Al Brown had a reported net worth of $1 million, just like Frances Yarborough. However, his long illness is estimated to have been very costly as he was getting premium care for his medical issues. He had officially retired from acting in a Facebook post back in November of 2022. Another celebrity, Nikolaj Lie Kaas also has a net worth of $1 million.

One of his former costars from The Wire is the late Michael K Williams. He was estimated to be worth about $5 million at the time of his passing. Some of the famous successful costars on The Wire are Idris Elba who is the former husband of makeup artist Hanne Norgaard.

Another rising star from The Wire is the famous British Actor Dominic West whom Al did not realize for years was an Englishman. 

A Brief About Brown's Educational Qualification 

Al Brown was born in 1939 just like another actor Scoey Mitchell. His full name was Alan Louis Brown. He was originally from Reading, Pennsylvania. He went to William Tennent High School and later pursued his higher education at Dennison University in Ohio on a full scholarship. 

Late Al Brown.
Late Al Brown. (Image Source: Genius Celeb)

While at Dennison, Brown focused his studies on English and Theater and was involved in a range of theatrical productions held at the university but sadly did not complete his degree there.

After Brown's first marriage and the birth of his first child (Christopher), he later became a part-time student at La Salle University in Philadelphia. He finished his bachelor’s degree in 1964.

A Quick Look At Brown's Career

Brown's professional career was quite active as he was a very hardworking man. He has worked jobs ranging from construction to sales to a proud military career. 

Professional Experience
United States Air Force (1964-1992)
   - Second Lieutenant (1964-1966)
   - Supply Officer, Vietnam War (1966-1968, 1970-1972)
   - Lieutenant Colonel (1992)
American Cyanamid (1970's) (sales)
Lederle Laboratories (1980s) (sales)
Searle Pharmaceuticals (1980's) (sales)
Air National Guard (1970s-1990s)
State Street Players (1978-1980's) (drama)
    - Writer and Actor
Environmental Protection Agency (1990's-2003)
    - Hazardous Site Clean-up Division

Brown Was In The Airforce

An interesting part of Al's military history was his Air Force Career. He served in the United States Air Force for 28 years, where he was a reserve for his latter years. He retired from the USAF Reserves in 1992 as a Lieutenant Colonel. 

A picture of Al Brown in a military outfit.
A picture of Al Brown in a military outfit. Source: Facebook

During his military career, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, and various service and campaign awards for his outstanding service to the country.

Did You Know Al Brown Was Married Twice?

Stan Valchek aka Al Brown was a family man and kept himself surrounded by his children and grandchildren. He leaves behind a loving family. Initially, he was together with his first love Barbara M. Eberz, and the pair got married in 1961. 

Barbara and AI had a long relationship that lasted almost thirty years till their divorce in 1990 which was a surprise as Barbara was a Catholic. The former pair spent most of the marriage raising their three children and living on military bases. They also did stage dramas together for State Street Players.

After divorcing Barbara, Al found a new partner and best friend in Janet Newhart. They got married and Al began pursuing his acting career. They never had kids together but stayed married till his death in 2023. They were residents of Las Vegas in Al's final years.

Remaining Family

While Fartcopter star Brown had been sick for the last years of his life, he had his family by his side. It has been made public that Brown's remaining family comprises his widow Janet Newhart, his sister Constance Brown, brother John Brown, his children Christopher, Timothy, and Jennifer, eight grandkids, and seven great-grandchildren.

It is public that Brown's parents, John and Dorothy Brown, are long deceased. His ex-wife Barbara also passed away in 2018 making his surviving children orphans. Al's funeral was held with military honors.

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