Lee Bowman

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Lee Bowman
Lee Bowman.jpg
Bowman as Andy Anderson in The Impatient Years (1944)
Born(1914-12-28)December 28, 1914
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Died December 25, 1979(1979-12-25) (aged 64)
Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1937–1968
Spouse(s) Helene Rosson Bowman (m. 19??; his death)
Children 2

Lee Bowman (December 28, 1914 – December 25, 1979) was an American film and television actor. According to one obituary, "his roles ranged from romantic lead to worldly, wisecracking lout in his most famous years". [1]

Film sequence of images that give the impression of movement

A film, also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, or photoplay, is a series of still images that, when shown on a screen, create the illusion of moving images. This optical illusion causes the audience to perceive continuous motion between separate objects viewed in rapid succession. The process of filmmaking is both an art and an industry. A film is created by photographing actual scenes with a motion-picture camera, by photographing drawings or miniature models using traditional animation techniques, by means of CGI and computer animation, or by a combination of some or all of these techniques, and other visual effects.

Television Telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images

Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome, or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a television set, a television program, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, entertainment and news.

Actor person who acts in a dramatic or comic production and works in film, television, theatre, or radio

An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.



Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Bowman dropped out of the University of Cincinnati Law School to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He was spotted by a Paramount Pictures agent and went to Hollywood in 1934, but was not used at first. [2] Instead he worked as a radio singer and appeared in stock plays including The Old Lady Shows His Medals. [3]

University of Cincinnati public research university in Cincinnati, Ohio

The University of Cincinnati is a public research university in Cincinnati, Ohio. Founded in 1819 as Cincinnati College, it is the oldest institution of higher education in Cincinnati and has an annual enrollment of over 44,000 students, making it the second largest university in Ohio. It is part of the University System of Ohio.

Paramount Pictures Major film studio in America, specializing in film and television production, and distribution.

Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film studio based in Hollywood, California, that has been a subsidiary of the American media conglomerate Viacom since 1994. Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world, the second oldest in the United States, and the sole member of the "Big Five" film studios still located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood.

Bowman eventually made his film debut in I Met Him in Paris (1937) for Paramount. [1] He worked at that studio for a while, then RKO before moving to MGM.

<i>I Met Him in Paris</i> 1937 film by Wesley Ruggles

I Met Him in Paris is a 1937 film made by Paramount Pictures, directed by Wesley Ruggles, written by Claude Binyon, and starring Claudette Colbert, Melvyn Douglas, and Robert Young.

The lack of leading men in World War II was a boost to Bowman's career and he co-starred with Rita Hayworth in Cover Girl and Jean Arthur in The Impatient Years . According to a film writer at the time, "his Hollywood career has not been spectacular but has gained him a large following." [3] He was signed by Columbia Pictures.

Rita Hayworth American actress, dancer and director

Rita Hayworth was an American actress and dancer. She achieved fame during the 1940s as one of the era's top stars, appearing in a total of 61 films over 37 years. The press coined the term "The Love Goddess" to describe Hayworth after she had become the most glamorous screen idol of the 1940s. She was the top pin-up girl for GIs during World War II.

<i>Cover Girl</i> (film) 1944 American musical film directed by Charles Vidor

Cover Girl is a 1944 American Technicolor musical film starring Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly. The film tells the story of a chorus girl given a chance at stardom when she is offered an opportunity to be a highly paid cover girl. The film was directed by Charles Vidor, and was one of the most popular musicals of the war years.

Jean Arthur American actress

Jean Arthur was an American actress and a film star of the 1930s and 1940s.

The Impatient Years was a hit and Bowman was described in late 1944 as "now a very hot commodity in Hollywood." [4] However, he never quite progressed beyond supporting female stars and his status as a leading man faded.

Bowman was a much in-demand radio actor, and also worked on Broadway.

After making his TV debut in The Silver Theatre in 1950, [5] he appeared regularly on television including several guest appearances in the television series Robert Montgomery Presents and Playhouse 90 .

<i>The Silver Theatre</i> US television program

The Silver Theatre is a television series that was broadcast on the CBS television network from 1949 to 1950. Hosted by Conrad Nagel, it was a liveanthology series consisting of dramatic teleplays about romance. It was sponsored by the International Silver Company. Per an episode on the Internet Archive the series ran 25 minutes excluding commercials. There were a total of thirty-nine episodes.

<i>Robert Montgomery Presents</i> television series (1950-1957)

Robert Montgomery Presents is an American dramatic television series which was produced by NBC from January 30, 1950, until June 24, 1957. The live show had several sponsors during its seven-year run, and the title was altered to feature the sponsor, usually Lucky Strike cigarettes, for example, Robert Montgomery Presents Your Lucky Strike Theater, ....The Johnson's Wax Program, and so on.

<i>Playhouse 90</i> television series

Playhouse 90 was an American television anthology drama series that aired on CBS from 1956 to 1960 for a total of 133 episodes. The show was produced at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, California. Since live anthology drama series of the mid-1950s usually were hour-long shows, the title highlighted the network's intention to present something unusual: a weekly series of hour-and-a-half-long dramas rather than 60-minute plays.

Bowman hosted the short-lived game show What's Going On? on ABC in late 1954. He was the first television Ellery Queen.

In 1961, he co-starred with Rocky Graziano in the private-eye series Miami Undercover , the first television series made in its entirety before being sold to a network. [6]

Media career

In his later career, Bowman was a pioneer in developing media training for the Republican leadership in Washington. In 1969 he was hired by the Nixon administration to help freshman representatives and politicians from marginal districts with their delivery, content and staging. (The job was described as being similar to Robert Montgomery's work with Dwight Eisenhower. [7] ) He also served as Master of Ceremonies for the 1968 and 1972 conventions. [6]

From 1974 until his death, he was Chairman of the Kingstree Group, an international consulting firm, which offers communication advice to business and political leaders all over the world. Kingstree's global headquarters is now located in London, England. Bowman was responsible for developing the 'conversational' approach to spoken communication, which is recognized today as the only successful model for business and political presentations and media interviews. [8]

For fifteen years Bowman was communications consultant for Bethlehem Steel. [1]


He died from a heart attack in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, on Christmas Day 1979, three days before his 65th birthday.

Bowman was married to Helene Rosson, Victor Fleming's step daughter. Their son, also called Lee Bowman, continued with the Kingstree Group. [8] Bowman also had a step daughter from an early marriage by Rosson. [2]

Selected filmography

Select theatre credits

Radio appearances

1952 Suspense "I Won't Take a Minute" [9]
1952 Cavalcade of America A Thousand to One [10]
1953 Cavalcade of America The Secret Road [11]

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  1. 1 2 3 Lee Bowman, Actor; Was a Star in Movies And TV Ellery Queen: Did Serious Roles on Broadway New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 28 Dec 1979: A20.
  2. 1 2 Biography at Ellery Queen fan site
  3. 1 2 New Film for Jean Arthur Like 'More the Merrier' By Frank Daugherty Special to The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file) [Boston, Mass] 21 Apr 1944: 5.
  4. A NICE GUY: This Co. B corporal may be eating K rations by now. But oh, the memory of that lunch with Lee Bowman in Hollywood SHER, CORPORAL JACK. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 31 Dec 1944: E10.
  5. Aaker, Everett (2006). Encyclopedia of Early Television Crime Fighters. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN   978-0-7864-6409-8. P. 61.
  6. 1 2 Actor Lee Bowman Dies; Suave Star of Films, TV Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 31 Dec 1979: 10.
  7. Lee Bowman, Actor, to Coach G.O.P. Speakers on TV Style New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 22 July 1969: 13.
  8. 1 2 It's the way you tell 'em, says speech guru: [1GB Edition] Oldfield, Claire. Sunday Times [London (UK)] 18 June 2000: 14.
  9. http://www.oldtimeradioreview.com/suspense---i2.html Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  10. Kirby, Walter (November 30, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 48. Retrieved June 14, 2015 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  11. Kirby, Walter (March 8, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 46. Retrieved June 23, 2015 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg