W. Earl Brown was born in Golden Pond, Kentucky. The seeds of his career as an actor and writer were sewn there as he spent his childhood years entertaining any and all who gathered on his grandparent’s front porch. Being the first in his family to go to college, Earl took an acting class on a whim at Murray State University and eventually began performing in numerous productions on campus. It was then those seeds from his youth took root.
Earl received his MFA from DePaul University’s Theatre School in 1989. After graduation, he performed in numerous plays around Chicago, but it was his performance in A View from the Bridge at the Steppenwolf Theatre that catapulted his career into television and film. Earl’s Chicago resume included Backdraft, The Babe, Excessive Force, and Rookie of the Year along with several television roles. Having hit the proverbial glass ceiling by 1993, Earl moved to Los Angeles. Auditioning for Wes Craven was a landmark moment as he was cast in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, which led to A Vampire in Brooklyn, followed by appearing in the hit movie Scream.
Two years later he played the breakout role of ‘Warren,’ Cameron Diaz's mentally challenged brother, in There’s Something About Mary. His past credits include roles in Oscar nominated films such as The Master, The Sessions and Being John Malkovich and numerous guest starring roles on television shows including Luck, American Horror Story, Justified, Six Feet Under, NYPD Blue, X-Files, The Mentalist, CSI, and Seinfeld, as well as landing lead roles in eight pilots.
Earl also played the lead in VH1’s Meatloaf: To Hell and Back and starred as Dan Dority in HBO’s Deadwood. During Deadwood’s second season, the show’s creator David Milch invited him to join the show’s writing staff. In 2007, Earl earned a WGA nomination for writing on a drama series and a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. Establishing himself on a show as critically lauded as Deadwood opened doors for other writing projects. In 2011, Sony released Bloodworth, a film produced and written by Earl.
In 2014, Earl was seen in Draft Day opposite Kevin Costner and can be seen in Wild with Reese Witherspoon. He also recently completed production on Black Mass with Johnny Depp. In addition to his television and film work, Earl voiced "Bill" in Sony Playstation’s The Last of Us which won Video Game of the Year. Earl also writes music and records with Sacred Cowboys, an LA based Americana band. Whereas it's easy for actors to get quickly categorized in the industry, Earl has managed to escape typecasting. His career runs the gamut and encompasses everything from television to film, music, theatre, comedy, drama and musicals. Earl considers himself very lucky to have had the many opportunities to play so many varied and diverse characters with such an array of talented people.