Christina “Tina” Tippit Brown, writer, photographer, performer and longtime wife and collaborator of The Wiz librettist William F. Brown, died at her Westport, CT home on July 2. She was 94.
Brown started her writing career at the age of 19 while still attending Texas Tech University, seeing her comedic pieces published in The New Yorker and performed on The Tonight Show, and going on to develop material for performers including Imogene Coca, George Gobel, Hermione Gingold and Virginia Graham. Over her long career, she authored screenplays, television projects and worked on TV’s As the World Turns.
With her late husband of 38 years, William F. Brown, she was co-librettist of the musical Have a Nice Day, co-author of the comedy Mixed Doubles and a musical revue, Cole. She also contributed material to his musicals Twist and The Wiz. Brown wrote her own full-length musical, Gringo, and also wrote material for many musical revues: Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know; Style, Baby, Style; Playboy on Broadway; Any Number Can Play; More Sweet Reason and Straight Up with a Twist, among others.
A well-loved bon vivant on the theater scene, Brown also counted among her careers fashion model (for Oleg Cassini), TV guest star (on The Merv Griffin Show) and photographer (serving as official shooter for The Lucille Lortel Theater in Manhattan and The White Barn Theatre in Westport).
Brown is survived by her daughter Terri Ranck, grandchildren Sara Fitzpatrick, Emily Smith, Katy Johnsen and Cristin Jameson and seven great-grandchildren and sister Betty Wheeler. She was predeceased by her son Stephen Tippit and brother Wade Eller. In lieu of flowers, the family requests you celebrate her life with a donation to Westport Country Playhouse.