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Gary Owens, Announcer of ‘Laugh-In’ Fame, Dies at 80

13 February 2015 1:27 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Radio, TV and voiceover performer Gary Owens died on Feb. 12 at his home in the Encino neighborhood of Los Angeles. Owens, who was 80, had been a diabetic since the age of 8.

Owens was probably best known as the announcer on NBC’s “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” (1968-73), with his trademark hand-over-the-ear announcing style. On the show, John Wayne once imitated Owens announcing. The phrase Owens created on his Kmpc radio show, “Beautiful downtown Burbank,” later became a nightly catchphrase on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show.”

Owens also lent his voice to more than 3,000 cartoons, providing the voice of “Space Ghost” as well as Blue Falcon, Roger Ramjet, Powdered Toast Man and even Batman. He was animated as himself in “Garfield and Friends,” “The Fantastic Four,” “Eek the Cat” and “Bobby’s World.”

Owens had a mellifluous baritone voice with impeccable nuanced timing, and was equally adept at comedy or deadpan delivery. »

- Variety Staff

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1 item from 2015


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