Harry Townes

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Harry Rhett Townes
Born (1914-09-18)September 18, 1914
Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, U.S.
Died May 23, 2001(2001-05-23) (aged 86)
Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.
Resting place Maple Hill Cemetery (Huntsville, Alabama)
Alma mater University of Alabama
Occupation Actor
Episcopal priest
Years active 1949-1988
Religion Episcopalian

Harry Rhett Townes (September 18, 1914 – May 23, 2001)[1] was an American television and movie actor who later in life became an Episcopalian priest.

Early life[edit]

Townes was born in Huntsville, the seat of Madison County in northern Alabama. He graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, having developed his acting skills through the university drama club.


He performed in several New York and Broadway stage productions, including summer stock. During World War II, he left the stage to enlist in the United States Army Air Corps. Discharged in 1946, he returned to the stage and then relocated to perform in Hollywood.

As a character actor, Townes was a familiar face to television viewers in the 1950s and 1960s. His expanded range led him to fill a variety of roles, and he avoided being typecast. He made five guest appearances on Perry Mason, including the role of title character Newton Bain in the 1964 episode, "The Case of the Woeful Widower." He also made three appearances on Bonanza and seven on Gunsmoke and in The Fugitive. He made single and double appearances on numerous other television series. Besides appearing in twenty-nine films, he is credited with more than two hundred television roles. He gained a cult following with a younger audience[citation needed] for a guest shot on "The First", a two-part episode of The Incredible Hulk. He played Dell Frye, a man who also had the ability to transform into a Hulk-like creature. "The First" is one of the most popular episodes from the TV series[citation needed] largely because of Townes' performance.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Townes was ordained as an Episcopal priest in St. Paul's Cathedral on March 16, 1974. He served at St. Mary of the Angels Church in Hollywood. He retired from acting in 1989 and returned to his hometown of Huntsville, where he lived the remainder of his life.

Townes died in Huntsville at the age of eighty-six and is interred there at Maple Hill Cemetery.

Selected film and television appearances[edit]


External links[edit]