Bill Owen

Bill Owen

British born actor known for playing working class characters on film and TV. Born William Rowbotham, the son of a tram driver and laundress, he started playing drums in London nightclubs and toured music halls with his own cabaret act to pay for acting classes. He entertained at Butlin's holiday camps and performed in repertory, joining the Unity Theatre where he attained respect as a stage producer. His career was interrupted by military service with the Royal Army Ordinance Corps where he was injured in an explosion during a battle training course. Returning to acting, he started making a name for himself in such films as Johnny in the Clouds (1945), When the Bough Breaks (1947), Maniacs on Wheels (1949), and The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952). He continued to perform in the theatre limelight and peaked in roles with Katharine Hepburn in "As You Like It" in 1950, and with "The Threepenny Opera" and "The Mikado", which made use of his musical talents. A writer at heart, he penned songs, musicals and plays over the years. Partnered with Mike Sammes, he wrote songs recorded by Pat Boone, Harry Secombe, Engelbert Humperdinck and Sir Cliff Richard, who had a hit with his 1980 song "Marianne". In the 60s he produced the stage musical, "The Matchgirl", and focused heavily on film slapstick with the 'Carry On' series. TV stardom came late, in the role of Compo in the BBC's 1973 series "Last of the Summer Wine". When he died of pancreatic cancer in 1999, he asked to be buried in the Yorkshire village of Holmfirth, where the TV series was filmed. Owen was awarded the MBE in 1976 for his steadfast work for the National Association of Boys Clubs and for his role as chairman of the Performing Arts Advising Panel.
    Known for
    Acting
    Place of birth
    Acton, London, England, UK
    Birthday
    3/14/1914
The Girl Who Couldn't Quite
The Girl Who Couldn't Quite
6
Not So Dusty
Not So Dusty
6.3
Breathing Space
Breathing Space
0
Getting Sam Home
Getting Sam Home
0
Unfair!
0
A City Reborn
0
Hotel Sahara
Hotel Sahara
5.6
Daybreak
Daybreak
6
The Rainbow Jacket
The Rainbow Jacket
6.8
The Ship That Died of Shame
The Ship That Died of Shame
6.9
Laughterhouse
Laughterhouse
5
Once a Jolly Swagman
Once a Jolly Swagman
5.4
Davy
Davy
5
When The Bough Breaks
6
Trouble in the Air
Trouble in the Air
7
The Entertainer
The Entertainer
7
The Secret of Blood Island
The Secret of Blood Island
0
The Shakedown
The Shakedown
5.7
Diamond City
Diamond City
5.2
My Brother's Keeper
My Brother's Keeper
6.1
In Celebration
In Celebration
4.9
Mischief
0
Headline Hunters
0
Georgy Girl
Georgy Girl
6.4
Trottie True
Trottie True
7
Tank Patrol
0
Carry On Regardless
Carry On Regardless
6.6
Carry On Sergeant
Carry On Sergeant
6.4
There Was a Young Lady
There Was a Young Lady
6
The Weaker Sex
The Weaker Sex
6
Carry On Cabby
Carry On Cabby
6.6
The Square Ring
The Square Ring
6.6
The Hellfire Club
The Hellfire Club
5.2
The Comeback
The Comeback
5.6
The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men
The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men
6.1
On the Fiddle
On the Fiddle
6.4
A Day to Remember
A Day to Remember
7.2
Dancing with Crime
Dancing with Crime
6.4
The Fighting Prince of Donegal
The Fighting Prince of Donegal
6.1
Carry On Nurse
Carry On Nurse
6.4
Carve Her Name with Pride
Carve Her Name with Pride
5.7
The Way to the Stars
The Way to the Stars
5.7
Easy Money
Easy Money
6
O Lucky Man!
O Lucky Man!
6.8
Kiss Me Kate
Kiss Me Kate
0
Last Of The Summer Wine: 30 Years Of Laughs
Last Of The Summer Wine: 30 Years Of Laughs
0
School for Secrets
School for Secrets
6.5
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