gary

Gary Owens, who balanced a brilliant wit with the mellifluous baritone of the radio announcer he so brilliantly parodied on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In, died Thursday at age 80.

A top DJ in Los Angeles starting in the 1960s, Owens was also a prolific voice actor, working over 3,000 cartoons and some 30,000 commercials. He also shared his comic genius writing for Jay Ward‘s animated series Rocky & Bullwinkle, Fractured Flickers and The Nuthouse. He provided jokes to several famous stand-up comics in the ’60s and also wrote for The Monkees TV series. And, yes, he coined the phrase “Beautiful Downtown Burbank.”

Amazingly, he built his enviable career despite living as a type I diabetic since the age of eight.