Jim Brown, Hall of Fame running back for the NFL Browns (Photo by Marsha Miller)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Funeral services were pending today for Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, the Cleveland Browns legend who went on to become a prolific actor and prominent civil-rights activist.

Brown died Thursday night at his home in Los Angeles at age 87, according to a family representative.

“Legend. Leader. Activist. Visionary,” the Cleveland Browns posted on the team’s Twitter page Friday. “It’s impossible to describe the profound love and gratitude we feel for having the opportunity to be a small piece of Jim’s incredible life and legacy. We mourn his passing, but celebrate the indelible light he brought to the world. Our hearts are with Jim’s family, loved ones and all those he impacted along the way.”

Considered by many one of the greatest football players of all time, Brown played for the Browns from 1957-65, averaging more than 5 yards per carry en route to becoming the league’s rushing leader in almost every year of his short but storied career. He was named the league MVP three times, and also led the Browns to an NFL championship in 1964.

Seemingly at the height of his playing career, Brown opted to retire in 1966, while he was in the midst of filming the classic war film “The Dirty Dozen,” featuring Lee Marvin and a host of other Hollywood dignitaries, including Telly Savalas and Charles Bronson.

He went on to appear in more than two dozen other films, including “The Running Man,” “Any Given Sunday” and “Mars Attacks.”

Brown also became a noted civil rights advocate and anti-gang activist. He founded the Amer-I-Can program in 1988, aimed at helping at-risk and high-risk youth at inner-city schools and juvenile detention facilities. It also offers reentry programs for adults exiting prison.

Brown is survived by his wife, Monique, and children Karen, Kim, Kevin, Jim Jr. And Aris.

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