'Laugh-In' announcer, voiceover veteran Gary Owens dies at 80

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The man behind the smooth baritone best known for announcing "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" has died. Gary Owens was 80 years old.

Owens' family said Friday that the veteran voiceover star died Thursday at his Los Angeles-area home.

Owens hosted thousands of radio programs over his seven-decade career. He appeared in more than a dozen movies and on scores of TV shows, including Lucille Ball and Bob Hope specials. He also voiced hundreds of animated characters, recorded a comedy album and wrote two books.




He also coined the recognizable term, "beautiful Downtown Burbank" during his tenure as a radio host.

When NBC made the official announcement that the Tonight Show would leave its home in Burbank and move to New York, Take Two's Alex Cohen spoke to Owens about his memories from "Laugh-In":

There are a probably a hundred thousand memories from the show because it was so great. [Laughs.] And we would have every major star in Hollywood and New York be guests on there. Also... I did 3,000 cartoon episodes. So I have so many fond, fond memories.  

Owens is survived by his wife of 57 years, Arleta, and their sons, Scott and Chris. Owens suffered from diabetes and the family asks that donations be made to the Children's Diabetes Foundation in lieu of flowers.

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