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Daniel Hale Rowan

Also Known As: "Daniel Hale David", "Dan"
Birthdate: (65)
Birthplace: Beggs, Okmulgee County, Oklahoma, United States
Death: Died in Siesta Key, Sarasota County, Florida, United States
Cause of death: Lymphoma
Immediate Family:

Son of Oscar Rowan and Nellie David
Husband of Joanna Young
Ex-husband of <private> Mathis and <private> Van Ballegooyen
Father of <private> Rowan; <private> Rowan and <private> Rowan

Occupation: comedian
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • <private> Mathis
    • <private> Rowan
    • <private> Rowan
    • <private> Rowan
    • <private> Van Ballegooyen
    • father
    • mother

About Dan Rowan

Daniel Hale "Dan" Rowan (July 22, 1922 - September 22, 1987) was an American comedian. He was featured in the television show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, where he played straight man to Dick Martin.

Early life and career

Born on a carnival train near the small town of Beggs, Oklahoma, under the name of "Daniel Hale David", Rowan toured with his parents, Oscar and Nellie David, who performed a singing and dancing act with the carnival. He was orphaned at age 11, spent four years at the McClelland Home in Pueblo, Colorado, then was taken in by a foster family at age 16 and enrolled in Central High School (Pueblo, Colorado). After graduating from high school in 1940, he hitchhiked to Los Angeles, California, and found a job in the mailroom at Paramount Pictures, quickly ingratiating himself with studio head Buddy DeSylva. A year later he became Paramount's youngest staff writer.

World War II

During World War II, Rowan served as a fighter pilot in the United States Army Air Forces. He flew Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighters and shot down two Japanese aircraft before he was downed and seriously wounded over New Guinea. His military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart.

Comedy team

After his discharge, Rowan returned to California where he teamed with Dick Martin and started a comedy night-club act. The team had appeared on television before but it was not until the success of a summer special in 1967 that they found fame on Laugh-In.

Personal life

In 1946, Rowan married the 1945 Miss America first-runner-up Phyllis J. Mathis and had three children: Thomas Patrick, Mary Ann, and Christie Esther. He and Mathis were later divorced. In 1963, Rowan married Australian model Adriana Van Ballegooyen. They divorced eight years later. In 1974, he married model and TV spokeswoman Joanna Young, and remained married until his death. His daughter Mary was briefly married to Peter Lawford. His son Tom Rowan is an entertainment lawyer.

Later years and death

Rowan retired and spent the remainder of his years between his residence in Florida and his barge in the canals of France. In his 40s he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which led him to becoming insulin dependent. He died of lymphoma in 1987 in Siesta Key, Florida.

In 1986, a book of letters written between himself and author John D. MacDonald was published entitled A Friendship: The Letters of Dan Rowan and John D. MacDonald, 1967-1974.

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Dan Rowan's Timeline

July 22, 1922
Beggs, Okmulgee County, Oklahoma, United States
September 22, 1987
Age 65
Siesta Key, Sarasota County, Florida, United States