Jerome Cowan

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Jerome Cowan
Jerome Cowan The Hurricane Trailer screenshot.jpg
Jerome Palmer Cowan

(1897-10-06)October 6, 1897
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedJanuary 24, 1972(1972-01-24) (aged 74)
Encino, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1923-1959 (stage)
1936-1971 (film)
Helen Dodge
(m. 1928; his death 1972)

Jerome Palmer Cowan (October 6, 1897 – January 24, 1972) was an American stage, film, and television actor.

Early years[edit]

Cowan was born in New York City, the son of William Cowan, a confectioner of Scottish descent, and Julia Cowan, née Palmer.[1]


At 18, Cowan joined a travelling stock company, shortly afterwards enlisting in the United States Navy during World War I. After the war he returned to the stage and became a vaudeville headliner, then gained success on the New York stage.[citation needed] His Broadway debut was in We've Got to Have Money (1923). His other Broadway credits include Frankie and Johnnie (1930), Just to Remind You (1931), Rendezvous (1932), The Little Black Book (1932), Marathon (1933), Both Your Houses (1933), As Thousands Cheer (1933), Ladies' Money (1934), Paths of Glory (1935), Boy Meets Girl (1935), My Three Angels (1953), Lunatics and Lovers (1954), Rumple (1957), and Say, Darling (1958).[2]


He was spotted by Samuel Goldwyn and was given a film contract, his first film being Beloved Enemy.

He appeared in more than one hundred films, but is probably best remembered for two roles in classic films: Miles Archer, the doomed private eye partner of Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon and Thomas Mara, the hapless district attorney who has to prosecute Santa Claus in Miracle on 34th Street.

Cowan also played Dagwood Bumstead's boss Mr. Radcliffe in several installments of Columbia Pictures' Blondie series. He also appeared in Deadline at Dawn, June Bride, and High Sierra.


In 1959 he played Horatio Styles in the episode "Winter Song" of The Alaskans, with Roger Moore. That same year, he made two guest appearances in Perry Mason, starring Raymond Burr. He played murdered playwright Ernest Royce in "The Case of the Lost Last Act" and then Victor Latimore in "The Case of the Artful Dodger." He also appeared in The Twilight Zone episode "The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine" and guest-starred on Richard Diamond, Private Detective.

In the 1960-1961 television season, Cowan starred as John Larsen, the owner of Comics, Inc., and the boss of Paul Morgan, a young cartoonist portrayed by Tab Hunter in The Tab Hunter Show. In 1962, he guest starred on Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. He also appeared on Daniel Boone and Going My Way, starring Gene Kelly.

In 1964 and 1965, Cowan appeared as the demanding Herbert Wilson in The Tycoon. Earlier in 1963, he appeared on The Real McCoys in its final season on CBS.


On January 24, 1972, Cowan died at Encino Hospital Medical Center in Encino, California at age 74. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.[3]


Cowan has a star at 6251 Hollywood Boulevard in the Television section of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was dedicated on February 8, 1960.[4]



  1. ^ Monush, Barry (2003). Screen World Presents the Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors: From the silent era to 1965. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 154. ISBN 9781557835512. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  2. ^ "("Jerome Cowan" search results)". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Veteran Actor Jerome Cowan Dies at 74". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. January 26, 1972. p. 40. Retrieved February 22, 2018 – via open access
  4. ^ "Jerome Cowan". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2018.

External links[edit]