Biography

American actor Roger Bowen spent most of the 1960s playing "preppie" types on a number of TV commercials. His film bow was in 1968's Petulia, but Bowen's big movie break came in 1970, when he created the role of lackadaisical Colonel Henry Blake in the Robert Altman film M*A*S*H (1970). While it was another TV-ad veteran, McLean Stevenson, who would play Col. Blake on the television version of M*A*S*H, Roger Bowen hardly lacked exposure in the early 1970s. He gained a fan following as Hamilton Majors Jr., the pleasantly snooty Ivy League boss of Herschel Bernardi on the TV sitcom Arnie (1970-72). After Arnie, Bowen joined the cast of The Brian Keith Show (1972), then returned to commercials and movie cameo roles, showing up briefly in such films as Heaven Can Wait (1978), The Main Event (1979) and Zapped (1981). In the early 1980s, Roger Bowen enjoyed another round of weekly TV work with recurring roles on House Calls, At Ease, and Suzanne Pleshette is Maggie Briggs. He made his final film appearance in the Bill Murray/Richard Dreyfus vehicle What About Bob? (1991). In addition to performing Bowen was a talented comedy writer who penned satirical sketches for television and theatre. He co-founded Chicago's Second City and also wrote 11 novels including Just Like a Movie. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi