Bill Owen

Biography: This Britisher was born of humble, working class beginnins and became well - known for playing the same kind of blokes on both film and TV. Born William Rowbotham, he was the son of a tram driver and laundress. He knew early on that entertaining was the life for him. He worked in odd jobs as a printer's apprentice and band vocalist to make do and,when he bacme of legal age, 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 and was injured in an explosion dutring battle training course.

Returning to acting, he was taken to post - war films after notice in a play. He started making a blue - collar character name for himself in such films as The Way to the Stars (1945), School for
This Britisher was born of humble, working class beginnins and became well - known for playing the same kind of blokes on both film and TV. Born William Rowbotham, he was the son of a tram driver and laundress. He knew early on that entertaining was the life for him. He worked in odd jobs as a printer's apprentice and band vocalist to make do and,when he bacme of legal age, 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 and was injured in an explosion dutring battle training course.

Returning to acting, he was taken to post - war films after notice in a play. He started making a blue - collar character name for himself in such films as The Way to the Stars (1945), School for Secrets (1946), When the Bough Breaks (1947), Once a Jolly Swagman (1948), The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952), The Suare RIng (1953), and The Ship That Died of Shame (1955). 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 sturdy 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, Englebert Humperdinck and Sir Cliff REichard, Who made a hit of 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, adding also to the lowbrow fun found in the comedy On The Fiddle (1961).

TV stardom and a sense of renewed career came late after copping the role of Compo in the BBC's "last Of The Summer Wine" (1973) series in 1973, his scruffy, mischievous charm endearing audiences for decades. He 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. He was also awarded an honorary degree by Bradford University in 1998. For the rest of his life, Bill would be identified with hte loveable scamp Compo, complete with wooly hat and threadbare jacket.

Most fittingly, when he died of pancreatic cancer in 1999, he asked tobe buried in the Yorkshire village of Holmfirth, where the TV sereis was filmed and the townspeople had taken him close to their hearts. Married twice, his actor / son Tom Owen joined the "Last of the SUmmer Wine" series in 2000.
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Bill Owen's Scores

  • TV
Average career score: N/A
Score distribution:
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0 tv reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 24 Jan 5, 2003 Himself/Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 21 Apr 2, 2000 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 20 Apr 18, 1999 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 19 Jan 4, 1998 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 18 Apr 20, 1997 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 17 Sep 3, 1995 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 16 Jan 8, 1995 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 15 Oct 24, 1993 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 14 Oct 25, 1992 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 13 Oct 18, 1991 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 12 Sep 2, 1990 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 11 Oct 15, 1989 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 10 Oct 16, 1988 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 9 Jan 4, 1986 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 8 Feb 10, 1985 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 7 Jan 30, 1983 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 6 Jan 4, 1982 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 5 Sep 18, 1979 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 4 Nov 9, 1977 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 3 Oct 27, 1976 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 2 Mar 5, 1975 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) tbd
tbd Last of the Summer Wine: Season 1 Nov 12, 1973 Compo Simmonite (1973-2000) 4.0