Brown was born in Urbana, Ohio. He was inspired to become an actor by a neighbor who showed him Shakespeare's works.
Well-known roles include Captain Byron Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption, Viking Lofgren in the 1983 hit drama movie Bad Boys, Rawhide in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension (1984), a cameo in the 1995 movie Dead Man Walking, Career Sergeant Zim in Starship Troopers, (a role he would reprise in the animated television series Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles), Captain William Hadley in The Guardian, The Kurgan in the first Highlander and John Clay in the 2008 horror film, The Burrowers.
Brown was notable as the sinister preacher Brother Justin Crowe in the HBO series Carnivàle.
He has also made many guest appearances on various television shows including Star Trek: Enterprise as Zobral, E.R., Lost, John Danzinger on Earth 2, and a 'mark' on The Riches.
He has voiced the corrupt Baron Praxis in the PlayStation 2 video game Jak II, an abusive stepfather-turned-zombie in Pet Sematary 2, Doctor Neo Cortex and Uka Uka in a number of the Crash Bandicoot video games, Montross in Star Wars: Bounty Hunter and Gorrath in the animated series Megas XLR. Brown was also the voice of Thrall in the canceled video game Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans.
Brown played the role of Lex Luthor in Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League TV series, and Justice League Unlimited. Clancy supplied not only the voice of Lex Luthor, but also of Mr. Freeze in The Batman TV series.
Brown also supplies the voice for the money hungry Mr. Krabs on the Nickelodeon cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants. He voices both the police captain George Stacy and the supervillain Rhino in The Spectacular Spider-Man TV series.
|1994||The Shawshank Redemption||Captain Byron Hadley|
|1999-present||SpongeBob SquarePants||Mr. Krabs|
|2018||Detroit: Become Human||Lieutenant Hank Anderson|