Gary Owens

Known and loved for his smooth, baritone speaking voice, Gary Owens endeared himself to a generation as the genteel announcer on the variety show "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (NBC, 1968-1973). Born Gary Altman in ... Read more »
Born: 05/10/1934 in Mitchell, South Dakota, USA

Filmography

Actor (54)

Comicview 1992 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

Certifiably Jonathan 2011 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Wizards of Waverly Place 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Space Ghost Coast to Coast 1993 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Daddy Day Care 2003 (Movie)

Mr Carrott (Actor)

Disney's Teamo Supremo 2001 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Voice

Love & War 1994 - 1995, 2001 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Mad About You 1994 - 1996, 2001 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

That '70s Show Special 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Wayans Bros 1994 - 1996, 1998 - 1999, 2001 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Wayans Bros. 1994 - 1996, 1998 - 1999, 2001 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Paul Lynde: Off Center 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

That '70s Show 1999 (Tv Show)

Narrator

Bob Crane: The E! True Hollywood Story 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Eek!Stravaganza 1992 - 1997 (TV Show)

Voice

Salute to the Stooges 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Fantastic Four 1994 - 1996 (TV Show)

Voice

Spy Hard 1996 (Movie)

MC for Rancor Extortion Video (Actor)

Garfield and Friends 1988 - 1995 (TV Show)

Voice

The Wondrous World of Weird Animals 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Eek! The Cat Christmas Special 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Voice

Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Voice

Tom and Jerry Kids Show 1990 - 1994 (TV Show)

Voice

Jonathan Winters: Spaced Out 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In 25th Anniversary 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Kill Crazy 1991 (Movie)

(Actor)

Stand-Up Comics Take a Stand! 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Diggin' Up Business 1989 (Movie)

(Actor)

How I Got Into College 1989 (Movie)

Sport Announcer (Actor)

Showtime Presents: Jonathan Winters & Friends 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

I'm Gonna Git You Sucka 1988 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

NBC Investigates Bob Hope 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Mancini and Friends 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Rock 'n' Wrestling Saturday Spectacular 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Mighty Orbots 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Narrator

Hysterical 1983 (Movie)

Newscaster (Actor)

No Soap, Radio 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

The Space Stars 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Voice

Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope For President 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

The Gong Show 1976 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Yogi's Space Race 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Voice

Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Voice

The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour 1976 (TV Show)

Voice

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Hudson Brothers Show 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In 1967 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

The Perils of Penelope Pitstop 1969 - 1971 (TV Show)

Narrator

Midnight Cowboy 1969 (Movie)

Little Joe (Actor)

Space Ghost 1966 - 1968 (TV Show)

Voice

The Love Bug 1968 (Movie)

Bit (Actor)

The Green Hornet 1966 - 1967 (TV Show)

Actor

Dead Reckoning 1947 (Movie)

Reporter (Actor)

The Alan Brady Show (TV Show)

Voice
Music (1)

I'm Gonna Git You Sucka 1988 (Movie)

("Pimp of the Year") (Song)
Other (6)

Stand-Up Comics Take a Stand! 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Other

Disney's DTV Monster Hits 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Other

Las Vegas: An All Star 75th Anniversary 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Other

Breakaway 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Other

Games People Play 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Other

The Sunday Games 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Other

Biography

Known and loved for his smooth, baritone speaking voice, Gary Owens endeared himself to a generation as the genteel announcer on the variety show "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (NBC, 1968-1973). Born Gary Altman in Mitchell, SD, Owens was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of nine. By the medical standards of 1943, this was considered a death sentence. But to Owens, the prognosis merely motivated him to prove how strong and capable he truly was. After graduating high school in Plankinton, SD and spending a year studying at Dakota Wesleyan University, Owens began his career working in radio. He first put his talents to work as a reporter for KORN in the nearby city of Mitchell in 1952, where he was promoted to news director two years later. Over the following decade, he would accept offers to work in Omaha, Dallas, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Denver, before finally settling at KMPC in Los Angeles. It was there that Owens developed the wacky, surrealistic comedy style that would become a trademark of his radio personality. Owens' show on KMPC was known for its host of strange and silly characters, many of whom were voiced by Owens himself. One of the host's popular segments was his "Moo Cow Report," which gave supposed traffic information based on the fictional movement of cows across major Los Angeles freeways. He also peppered his broadcast with new, nonsense words of his own creation, like krenellmuffin, creebling, and veister. By the mid-1960s, Owens was providing voice acting for commercials, as well as cartoons like "Space Ghost" (CBS, 1966). It was in 1967, however, that a chance meeting led to the announcer's biggest foray into television. He walked into a men's room at a Smoke House restaurant in Burbank and ran into an acquaintance, producer George Schlatter. When Owens greeted his friend with a congenial, "Hello, George!" the sound reverberated in the bathroom's resonant acoustic space. Schlatter, it just so happened, was working on an upcoming comedy show called "Laugh-In." The producer was suddenly struck with the idea of Owens providing stately announcements to transition between the show's zany sketches, and asked Owens on the spot if he would do it. Owens accepted the offer and soon became an integral presence on "Laugh-In." His dapper voice and dignified image offered the perfect juxtaposition to the show's zany tone, and Owens used his immense comedic talent to maximize the effect. The show premiered in 1968, not long after Owens married his wife, Arleta. It proved to be a massive success and ran until 1973. Before its final season, Owens released a comedy album, "Put Your Head on My Finger." Throughout all this, he continued to produce his radio show. In 1980, he was recognized for his contributions to the entertainment industry with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Owens' career had hardly reached its end, however, as he would lend his voice talent to countless commercials, numerous TV shows, and movies over the coming years, even providing narration for the EPCOT Pavilion at Walt Disney World. He took over as the announcer on the popular series "America's Funniest Home Videos" (ABC, 1989-) in 1995, and published a memoir, <i>How to Make a Million Dollars With Your Voice (Or Lose Your Tonsils Trying)</i>, in 2004. Owens died at his home in Encino, CA on February 12, 2015. He was 80 years old.

EDUCATION

Wesleyan University

Milestones

2004

Published a book, <i>How to Make a Million Dollars With Your Voice (Or Lose Your Tonsils Trying)</i>.

1995

Replaced Ernie Anderson as the announcer on "America's Funniest Home Videos."

1972

Released the comedy album "Put Your Head On My Finger."

1968

Joined the cast of the variety show "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" as the series' announcer.

1966

Took on a regular voice acting job, narrating the cartoon series "Space Ghost."

1962

Began hosting a radio show on KMPC in Los Angeles, where he became known for his myriad character voices and surrealistic humor.

Bonus Trivia

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Worked as a disc jockey in Dallas, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Denver before settling in Los Angeles.

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Famously created many nonsense words that he used during his radio show, including "krenellemuffin," "creebling," and "krelb."

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Coined the phrase "Beautiful downtown Burbank," which was used on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" and "The Tonight Show," and later became a staple of American pop culture.

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Provided narration for Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center Pavillion.

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Was diagnosed with diabetes at age nine and not expected to live past his teens.

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