Famed voice actor and DJ Gary Owens has died at the age of 78.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Owens Suffered From Diabetes for Most of His Life
Owens was found dead at his home in Encino, California on Thursday February 12. He had been a diabetic since a young age. His family have asked that donations be made to the Children’s Diabetes Foundation.
2. He’ll Always Be Remembered for His Work on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In
He was best known for his work on NBC’s Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. On his IMDB page, it says that Owens has appeared in the Dustin Hoffman classic, Midnight Cowboy and the 1960s Batman TV show. He was the chosen voice over artist for Bob Hope specials. You can watch a tribute to his work here.
3. Variety Credits Owens With Having ‘Impeccable Timing’
Variety attributes his success to his “impeccable nuanced timing” and “deadpan delivery.” He turned his voice to advertising too, notably for a series of radio ads for Kia cars. At the time of his death, Owens had been working as main voiceover for the Antenna TV network. You can listen to one of his voiceovers here.
4. He Was Married to His Wife for 57 Years
He’s survived by his wife of 57 years, Arleta. The couple also had two sons, Scott and Chris Owens. According to his IMDB page, Chris Owens is a respected musician and producer in Hollywood.
5. He Began His Career in Mitchell, South Dakota
Owens was a native of Mitchell, South Dakota. He got his start in radio by delivering the news on the radio in the town in the early 1960s. By the end of the decade, Owens was in California and in demand.