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Famous Like Me > Actor > O > Bill Owen

Profile of Bill Owen on Famous Like Me

Name: Bill Owen  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 14th March 1914
Place of Birth: Acton, Middlesex, England, UK
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Bill Owen as Compo, along side Co-star Kathy Staff as Nora Batty

Bill Rowbotham (March 14, 1914 - July 12, 1999), better known as Bill Owen, was an English actor and songwriter.

Born in London, he made his first film appearance in 1945, but he only achieved lasting fame in the 1970s when he took the starring role of Compo in the long-running British sitcom, Last of the Summer Wine. Owen's character is a scruffy working-class pensioner, often made use of by the characters played by Michael Bates, Brian Wilde, Michael Alridge and Frank Thornton for dirty jobs, stunts and escapades, while his indomitably docile friend Peter Sallis follows and watches with a smirk. He wore a woollen cap and spent much of his time lusting after dowdy housewife, Nora Batty. As Compo, Owen saw off several co-stars. The series, starting in 1972, is today the world's longest-running comedy series, and Owen became an icon, a darling of its audience and central to its success and episodes for 27 years, right till his death. The threesome of Sallis, Owen and Foggy (this third character was initially Blamire, played by Michael Bates, and when Wilde's Foggy took a hiatus, by Michael Alridge's Seymour Utthersthwaite).

During the 1960s, Owen had a successful second career as a songwriter, with compositions including the hit, Marianne, recorded by Cliff Richard.

Owen was an active supporter of the Labour Party.

He continued working right up to his death from cancer in 1999. His actor son, Tom Owen, was written into the series after his death. The storyline was that Compo knew he was terminally ill, but chose not to tell Truly and Clegg, instead writing to his son with whom he has lost contact. The son however does not make it in time to his father's funeral but remains in the area afterwards. Bill is buried in the churchyard of St John’s Church, Upperthong in his beloved town of Holmfirth in Yorkshire, the home of "Last of the Summer Wine."

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Bill Owen