Owen Bush

(1921)
Date of Birth: 10/11/1921

The laconic character actor Owen Bush was born on November 10, 1921 in Savannah, Missouri. Owen first became interested in acting in high school, when auditioning for a school play got him out of a boring study hall. In the late 1940s, Bush began working as a radio announcer, and in the early '50s, became a sportscaster on WDAF-TV in Kansas City. Like many television announcers in Kansas City at that time, Bush also frequently acted in industrial films made by the Calvin Company of Kansas City. There, he met the young director Robert Altman, who loved Bush's comic acting style and cast him in many short industrial "docu-dramas" as well as a bit part in Altman's first feature film, "The Delinquents," shot in Kansas City in 1956. In 1959, Altman who by this time was a busy director of episodic TV in Hollywood, convinced Bush to take a leave of absence from WDAF-TV and come out to California to play a regular role in a short-lived syndicated TV series Altman was producing called "The Troubleshooters." The show didn't get off the ground, but with some help from old friend William Frawley (of "I Love Lucy" fame) whom Bush first met during the making of an industrial film in Kansas City, Bush went on to become a popular radio personality in Los Angeles and also one of the most prolific character actors in movies and TV, not only appearing in many early-'60s Altman-directed episodes of the series "The Whirlybirds," "Maverick," "Peter Gunn," "Bus Stop", and "Bonanza", but also "on his own" in many episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Gunsmoke" and in the movie "Valley of the Dolls". Bush kept on working steadily through the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, and most recently could be spotted in the movie "Best Laid Plans" and in a recurring role on the TV soap opera "Passions". One of the classic and most recognizable character actors, Owen Bush died on June 12, 2001, in L.A., aged 79.

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