Actress Kimberly J. Brown, best known to audiences for her portrayal of the teen witch Marnie Piper in the Halloweentown films, is from Gaithersburg. In a 2016 interview with a Maryland-based blog, she referenced growing up in Gaithersburg in the 80s and early 90s. “There were certain areas near where I lived that were so serene. I love that whole country, green feel. Our family ritual was going to duck ponds in the area and playing with the baby chicks. I love being able to have a bat and a ball, and not caring where the ball lands if that makes sense. In Los Angeles, you don’t have that luxury all the time.” In the interview she also refers to Washington as her favorite NFL team.
Brown got her first big break playing the role of Marah Lewis on the daytime soap opera Guiding Light– the daughter of “super couple” Josh Lewis and Reva Shayne. When she was 13 she was cast in Halloweentown as Marnie Piper, a young witch who is determined to learn magic from her grandmother Aggie, portrayed by Debbie Reynolds. Halloweentown aired on October 17, 1998, and was well received by audiences, leading Disney Channel to produce three sequels; Brown reprised her role as Marnie in two of them, but was replaced by Sara Paxton in the fourth installment, Return to Halloweentown, a decision over which Brown expressed confusion and disappointment.
In 2021, Brown returned to daytime soaps by joining the cast of General Hospital. Brown and a friend currently run Etsy shop CraftilyCreative, which sells a variety of items, including Halloweentown-themed merchandise. Brown is currently engaged to her Halloweentown II co-star, Daniel Kountz. Halloweentown and its sequels are still in the October rotation of Halloween movies for a new generation.