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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 18 September 1914Huntsville, Alabama, USA
Date of Death 23 May 2001Huntsville, Alabama, USA
Birth NameHarry Rhett Townes
Height 5' 9½" (1.77 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Harry Townes was born and died in Huntsville, Alabama, where he served as an ordained Episcopal priest. Aside from Huntsville and the priesthood, he had a distinguished, prolific, and quite long career as a character actor in movies and on television. He attended the University of Alabama in the 1930s, but moved to New York, before finishing, in order to study acting. He found his niche at Columbia University where he also received his undergraduate degree. From there, it was on to roles on stage -- his first in 1936 playing Captain Tim in "Tobacco Road". A two-year run in the part of a leprechaun in "Finian's Rainbow" came next -- a role that also took him to London. After a spattering of roles in the movies, Townes found his greatest presence on television, amassing a very large portfolio of roles for his handbag of characters. Studio One in Hollywood (1948), Playhouse 90 (1956) and Ponds Theater (1953) all enjoyed his contributions. The more popular Gunsmoke (1955), Perry Mason (1957), Star Trek (1966), Rawhide (1959) and Bonanza (1959) also benefited from Townes' acting skills. Though he continued to perform occasionally into old age, he quit his Beverly Hills home and lifestyle, entered the priesthood, and settled back into his hometown of Huntsville in the 1970s.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Patrick King <patrick_king@hotmail.com>

Trivia (7)

He attended the University of Alabama, but later transferred to, and graduated from, Columbia University.
In the 1970s, he put himself through the seminary to become an Episcopal priest.
Retired in 1970 and became an Episcopalian minister at Church of the Bells, Palm Springs, CA.
Is interred at Maple Hill Cemetery. Huntsville, Alabama.
Served in the Air Corps for four years during World War II.
Harry Townes appeared in "The Four of Us Are Dying," a The Twilight Zone (1959) episode, and in "The First," a two-parter of the The Incredible Hulk (1978) TV series. In both, he played a man who could change his form (in the Twilight Zone, he could change his face; in the Hulk, he could also turn into a Hulk). In both, he planned to run away with a woman, but before he could, was accosted in his hotel room by a man with a gun. In both, he escaped, and changed form, only to be shot to death by still another person with a gun, who only shot him because he was in his other form. In both, he reverted to his original appearance in death.
Was pals with actor Wright King.

Personal Quotes (1)

I guess we're never entirely happy with what we do; we would like to do better. I feel I was lucky to get the work that I did. You always feel thankful because there are so many actors for so few jobs that it seems God is being good to you when you get a job. Of course, I would have loved to have done better, we all would. But we always think we can do it better in one more take. On the whole, I'm satisfied, though. As long as the audience was satisfied, then I'm satisfied.

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