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Bowman as Andy Anderson in The Impatient Years (1944)
|Born||December 28, 1914|
|Died||December 25, 1979 (aged 64)|
Brentwood, Los Angeles, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Helene Rosson Bowman|
(m. 19??; his death 1979)
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".
Born in Cincinnati, 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 Pictures agent and went to Hollywood in 1934, but was not used at first. Instead he worked as a radio singer and appeared in stock plays including The Old Lady Shows His Medals.
The lack of leading men in World War II was a boost to Bowman's career and he co-starred 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." He was signed by Columbia Pictures.
The Impatient Years was a hit and Bowman was described in late 1944 as "now a very hot commodity in Hollywood." 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 also worked on Broadway. He was the original actor who played Lucille Ball's husband in the audition program serving as a pilot for My Favorite Husband, airing on CBS Radio July 5, 1948; however, he was not available for the full series after CBS approved it, so when it debuted later that month it starred Ball and Richard Denning as the leads. This series would later go on to spawn I Love Lucy for television in 1950, with Ball's real-life husband Desi Arnaz replacing Denning at Ball's insistence.
After making his TV debut in The Silver Theatre in 1950, he appeared regularly on television including several guest appearances in the television series Robert Montgomery Presents and Playhouse 90.
In the early 1950s, he became television's second Ellery Queen, stepping into the role after the first, Richard Hart, died unexpectedly of a coronary. Bowman hosted the short-lived game show What's Going On? on ABC in late 1954.
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. Bowman also guest-starred in The Fugitive.
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.) He also served as Master of Ceremonies for the 1968 and 1972 conventions.
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.
Bowman was married to Helene Rosson, Victor Fleming's step daughter. Their son, also called Lee Bowman, continued with the Kingstree Group. Bowman also had a step daughter from an early marriage by Rosson.
- Clarence (1937) – Man in Cafe (uncredited)
- Swing High, Swing Low (1937) – El Greco Patron (uncredited)
- Internes Can't Take Money (1937) – Interne Weeks
- I Met Him in Paris (1937) – Berk Sutter
- The Last Train from Madrid (1937) – Michael Balk
- Easy Living (1937) – Motorcycle Policeman (uncredited)
- Sophie Lang Goes West (1937) – Eddie Rollyn
- This Way Please (1937) – Stu Randall
- The First Hundred Years (1938) – George Wallace
- Having a Wonderful Time (1938) – Buzzy Armbruster
- A Man to Remember (1938) – Dick Abbott
- Tarnished Angel (1938) – Paul Montgommery
- Next Time I Marry (1938) – Count Georgi
- Love Affair (1939) – Kenneth Bradley
- Society Lawyer (1939) – Phil Siddall
- The Lady and the Mob (1939) – Fred Leonard
- Stronger Than Desire (1939) – Michael McLain
- Miracles for Sale (1939) – La Claire
- Dancing Co-Ed (1939) – Freddy Tobin
- Fast and Furious (1939) – Mike Stevens
- The Great Victor Herbert (1939) – Dr. Richard Moore
- Florian (1940) – Archduke Oliver
- Gold Rush Maisie (1940) – Bill Anders
- Wyoming (1940) – Sergeant Connelly
- Third Finger, Left Hand (1940) – Philip Booth
- Buck Privates (1941) – Randolph Parker III
- Model Wife (1941) – Ralph Benson
- Washington Melodrama (1941) – Ronnie Colton
- Married Bachelor (1941) – Eric Santley
- Design for Scandal (1941) – Walter Caldwell
- Kid Glove Killer (1942) – Gerald Ladimer
- We Were Dancing (1942) – Hubert Tyler
- Pacific Rendezvous (1942) – Lt. Bill Gordon
- Tish (1942) – Charles 'Charlie' Sands – Tish's Nephew
- Three Hearts for Julia (1943) – David Torrance
- Bataan (1943) – Capt. Henry Lassiter
- Cover Girl (1944) – Noel Wheaton
- Up in Mabel's Room (1944) – Arthur Weldon
- The Impatient Years (1944) – Andy Anderson
- Tonight and Every Night (1945) – Squadron Leader Paul Lundy
- She Wouldn't Say Yes (1945) – Michael Kent
- The Walls Came Tumbling Down (1946) – Gilbert Archer
- Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman (1947) – Ken Conway
- My Dream is Yours (1949) – Gary Mitchell
- There's a Girl in My Heart (1949) – Terrence Dowd
- House by the River (1950) – John Byrne
- Youngblood Hawke (1964) – Jason Prince
Select theatre credits
- The Magic and the Loss
|1952||Suspense||"I Won't Take a Minute"|
|1952||Cavalcade of America||A Thousand to One|
|1953||Cavalcade of America||The Secret Road|
- "Lee Bowman, Actor; Was a Star in Movies And TV Ellery Queen: Did Serious Roles on Broadway". New York Times. Dec 28, 1979. p. A20.
- Biography at Ellery Queen fan site}}
- Frank Daugherty (Apr 21, 1944). "New Film for Jean Arthur Like 'More the Merrier'". The Christian Science Monitor. p. 5.
- SHER, CORPORAL JACK. (Dec 31, 1944). "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". Los Angeles Times. p. E10.
- Monush, Barry; Sheridan, James (2011). "My Favorite Husband: Background". Lucille Ball FAQ: Everything Left to Know About America's Favorite Redhead. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. ISBN 978-1617740824. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
- Sanders, Coyne; Gilbert, Tom (1993). Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Harper Collins. pp. 23–25. ISBN 0688135145. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
- Andrews, Bart (1976). Lucy & Ricky & Fred & Ethel: The Story of "I Love Lucy". Dutton. p. 13. ISBN 0525149902. Retrieved 2017-05-27.
- Aaker, Everett (2006). Encyclopedia of Early Television Crime Fighters. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6409-8. P. 61.
- "Actor Lee Bowman Dies; Suave Star of Films, TV". Los Angeles Times. Dec 31, 1979. p. 10.
- "Lee Bowman, Actor, to Coach G.O.P. Speakers on TV Style". New York Times. July 22, 1969. p. 13.
- It's the way you tell 'em, says speech guru: [1GB Edition] Oldfield, Claire. Sunday Times [London (UK)] 18 June 2000: 14.
- Kirby, Walter (November 30, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 48. Retrieved June 14, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Kirby, Walter (March 8, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 46. Retrieved June 23, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
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