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Laugh-In Announcer Gary Owens Dies at 80

A radio personality, he also lent his voice to a number of cartoons

Kaitlin Thomas

Gary Owens, a TV and radio announcer best known for his work on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, died Thursday at his home in Encino, Calif., reports The Hollywood Reporter. He was 80.

His son, Chris Dane Owens, told the website that his father, who had suffered from diabetes since the age of 8, had continued to work until he was 79.

Born in South Dakota in 1934, Owens is known for his work on Laugh-In, which ran on NBC from 1968 until 1973, but he was also an accomplished voiceover artist. Throughout his lengthy career he lent his voice to a number of cartoons, including Space Ghost, The Ren and Stimpy Show, Garfield and Friends, Eek! The Cat, and more. He was also the long-time announcer for Sesame Street.

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For more than 30 years Owens also hosted a national radio show on the Music of Your Life Network, and was a radio personality on various California stations, including KMPC, KFWB, KFI, and KIIS.

He was the first radio star to be inducted into the Hollywood Hall of Fame, and received his star on the Walk of Fame, which sits between those of Walt Disney and Bette White, in 1980.

In 2004, he co-wrote How to Make a Million Dollars With Your Voice (Or Lose Your Tonsils Trying) with Jeff Lenburg about how to break into and succeed in the voice business.

Owens is survived by his wife of 57 years, Arleta, and two sons, Scott Owens, a producer, and Chris Dane Owens, a musician and producer.