Veteran voiceover performer Gary Owens has passed away on February 12, 2015, at the age of 80. A longtime radio and TV announcer, Owens was best known to the general public as the mellifluous baritone for NBC’s Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. He also coined the “beautiful downtown Burbank” phrase on his KMPC radio show that was adopted by Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. He hosted assorted radio shows for over 30 years, and also served an the announcer for Sesame Street since the show premiered in 1969.
Animation fans will know Mr. Owens as the voice of Space Ghost in the original Hanna-Barbera cartoon series (returning as an announcer in the Space Ghost: Coast to Coast TV series that brought fame and fortune to the [adult swim] programming block). Among his other numerous cartoon voiceover credits are Roger Ramjet, the Blue Falcon, Ren and Stimpy‘s Powdered Toast Man, and Swat Kats‘ Commander Feral.
Owens suffered from diabetes since the age of 8, and in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Childrenâ€™s Diabetes Foundation.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Gary Owens voiced Space Ghost in Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. While Mr. Owens did appear on the show, the voice of Space Ghost on that show was provided by George Lowe.