She spent many years in Hollywood, Calif., where she lived in close proximity to such stars as Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.
Her late husband Paul once surprised her by buying a restaurant for her, and she became the proprietor of her own business.
These days, Brown's life is a little more low-key. On Thursday, she quietly celebrated her 103rd birthday with her friends at The Waters of Greencastle.
Brown, who was born on a Kansas prairie on Dec. 30, 1907, has been at The Waters for over seven years.
Two of Brown's friends, Linda Hall and Helen Noble, were on hand Thursday to celebrate her milestone with her.
"Melba has been an inspiration to me," Hall said.
The staff at The Waters has also grown attached to Brown.
"She's always got a wonderful smile," said Candy McMickle, activities director. "She's a great lady."
Noble met Brown more than 20 years ago, when Noble and her husband moved from Pennsylvania to Putnam County to be closer to their daughter.
"She's been a wonderful, sweet friend," Noble said.
During the birthday party, McMickle presented Brown with a sparkling tiara, which Brown happily allowed McMickle to place atop her head.
"She's the birthday queen for the day," McMickle said.