Bowman was born in Sunderland in 1945 and followed in the footsteps of her dancing school teacher mother, Mattie Bowman, to make a career on the stage. After attending Grange Crescent School in Sunderland, she studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in 1960. Her professional debut was at Sunderland Empire Theatre in 1961, when she played the part of the princess in the pantomime Humpty Dumpty at the age of 16. A caricature of her in the show is held in the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Bowman understudied West End musical star Paula Hendrix in The Boys from Syracuse at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1963, and replaced her for one performance. In 1966 she played Eliza Doolittle in the H. M. Tennant touring production of My Fair Lady, opposite Tony Britton as Henry Higgins, winning "creditable" reviews. Bowman also starred in theatrical shows with several comedians such as Terry Scott and Jimmy Logan durijng the 1960s, as well as matinee idol John Hanson.
Bowman returned to the Sunderland Empire in 1968 with the Ivor Novello touring show The Dancing Years and in 1969 she starred as Cinderella in the Christmas pantomime at Newcastle Theatre Royal. She was to reprise the role of Cinderella at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, in 1971. In 1972 she returned, once again, to the Sunderland Empire, where she starred for the first time as 'principal boy' in the pantomime Dick Whittington. In 1977 she was an understudy in the musical Something's Afoot and, in 1981, she appeared as Frau Zeller and as a member of the ensemble in the West End revival of The Sound of Music.
Although Bowman spent much of her career on the stage, she also found fame in TV shows such as Emergency Ward 10, Sergeant Cork and Compact too. Her voice was also used for non-singing stars in the film of the musical Oliver!, she made cast recordings of both The Sound of Music and The Boys from Syracuse and appeared as a television announcer in the 1960s.
Bowman married Peter Davis in the 1960s and had a son, Justin, in 1970. In 1972 she was living in London.
- Sunderland Echo, page 11, December 12, 1972
- "findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_6783/is_2010_Dec_13/ai_n56473976/?tag=untagged". Evening Chronicle. 2010.
- Sunderland Echo, page 6, November 20, 1972