Harry Townes

Active - 1954 - 1986  |   Born - Sep 18, 1914   |   Died - May 23, 2001   |   Genres - Drama, Western, Thriller, Action, Mystery

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Wiry-featured American actor Harry Townes usually played informers, small-time crooks, wrong-headed military officers or duplicitous businessmen. His acting career began while he was attending the University of Alabama; chancing upon a Birmingham performance by a touring stage company of Richelieu starring Walter Hampden, Townes impulsively decided to become a performer himself. Within three years, Townes had worked in a New England stock company and was costarring in a travelling production of that old theatrical warhorse Tobacco Road. After two decades of stage performances, Townes came to Hollywood to appear on NBC television's Matinee Theatre, averaging some 18 TV performances per year thereafter. His personal favorite TV assignment was GE Theatre's Christmas offering The Other Wise Man, although Twilight Zone fans would argue in favor of Townes' role as a petty con artist endowed with the ability to change his facial features in the 1959 episode "The Four of Us are Dying." Harry Townes' film credits include The Mountain (1956), The Brothers Karamazov (1958), Sanctuary (1961) and The Warrior and the Sorceress (1974). His one recurring TV role was as Russell Winston on the 1986-87 season of Knots Landing.

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