Lee Bowman

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Lee Bowman
Lee Bowman in We Were Dancing trailer.jpg
Bowman in We Were Dancing (1942)
Born (1914-12-28)December 28, 1914
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Died December 25, 1979(1979-12-25) (aged 64)
Brentwood, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1937-1968

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]

Career[edit]

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 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]

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.

The lack of leading men in World War Two was a boost to Bowman's career and he costarred 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 signed to Columbia.

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 worked on Broadway.

He also appeared regularly on television including several guest appearances in the television series Robert Montgomery Presents and Playhouse 90.

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.[5]

Media career[edit]

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.[6]) He also served as Master of Ceremonies for the 1968 and 1972 conventions.[5]

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.[7]

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

Death[edit]

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.[7] Bowman also had a step daughter from an early marriage by Rosson.[2]

Selected filmography[edit]

Select Theatre Credits[edit]

  • The Magic and the Loss

Radio appearances[edit]

Year Program Episode/source
1952 Cavalcade of America A Thousand to One[8]
1953 Cavalcade of America The Secret Road[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 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. ^ a b Biography at Ellery Queen fan site
  3. ^ a b 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. ^ a b Actor Lee Bowman Dies; Suave Star of Films, TV Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 31 Dec 1979: 10.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b It's the way you tell 'em, says speech guru: [1GB Edition] Oldfield, Claire. Sunday Times [London (UK)] 18 June 2000: 14.
  8. ^ 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 publication - free to read
  9. ^ 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 publication - free to read

External links[edit]