Dan-Rowan
Dan Rowan | Biography

Quick Wiki

  • Full Name Daniel Hale David
  • Nickname Dan Rowan
  • Occupation Actor & Host
  • Nationality American
  • Birthplace Beggs, Oklahoma, USA
  • Birth Date Jun 22, 1922
  • Age 100 Years, 3 Months
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Co-Host Of The Television Program 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In'

Dan Rowan | Biography

'Rowan & Martin Laugh-In' won three 'Primetime Emmy Award' in 1968.

During World War II, Rowan served in the military as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Army Air Force. He received Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart awards during his military career. After serving in the military, Rowan returned to California and eventually appeared on various television shows. He made his on-screen debut in 1956, guest-starring in one episode of 'The Walter Winchell Show'. He eventually formed a comedy team with Dick Martin and played straight man to Martin for over two decades in nightclubs, television shows, and movies.


Dan Rowan was an American comedian best recognized for co-hosting the sketch-comedy television program Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1967-1973) alongside Dick Martin.

Who is Dan Rowan?

Daniel Hale David, alias Dan Rowan was born in Beggs, Oklahoma, on 22 July 1922. Growing up as a son of show people Oscar and Nellie David, Rowan toured the carnival circuit with his parents, performing a singing and dancing act as a child. He was orphaned at age 11 and spent four years at the McClelland Home in Pueblo, Colorado.

Then at age 16, he was adopted by a foster family. He graduated from Central High School in 1940 and then moved to Los Angeles, California, and quickly obtained a job in a mailroom at Paramount Pictures. A year later, he became the youngest staff writer of Paramount Pictures.

During World War II, Rowan served in the military as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Army Air Force. He received Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart awards during his military career.

After serving in the military, Rowan returned to California and eventually appeared on various television shows. He made his on-screen debut in 1956, guest-starring in one episode of The Walter Winchell Show. He eventually formed a comedy team with Dick Martin and played straight man to Martin for over two decades in nightclubs, television shows, and movies.

Rowan frequently appeared in the television shows such as The Dinah Shore Chevy Show from 1957 to 1960 and The Ed Sullivan Show from 1960 to 1965. Then, in the summer of 1967, NBC hired him to host a comedy special. The success of the special led him to co-host Laugh-In on NBC with his fellow comedian Dick Martin. The duo eventually rose to fame with their sketch-comedy television program Rowan & Martin Laugh-In, which they co-hosted from 1967 through 1973.

Dan-Rowan-and-Dick-Martin-co-hosts-of-Rowan-and-Martins-Laugh-In
Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, co-hosts of the sketch comedy television program Rowan & Martin Laugh-In. (Photo: © National Broadcasting Company, Inc.)​​​

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The program won three 'Primetime Emmy Award' in 1968, for 'Outstanding Musical or Variety Series,' for 'Outstanding Musical or Variety Program,' and for 'Outstanding Writing Achievement in Music or Variety.' It also won the 'Golden Globe' for 'Best TV Show' in 1969. The program also garnered 34 award nominations.

In 1976, Rowan appeared with Dean Martin on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast television special. Then, he debuted in film in the 1958 western comedy film Once Upon a Horse… as Dan Casey. He later appeared as Sam Smith in the 1969 film The Maltese Bippy

Furthermore, he appeared in multiple television series, including Off to See the Wizard in 1967, The Electric Company in 1972, and Fantasy Island in 1978. In 1978, he also appeared in two episodes of the romantic comedy-drama television series The Love Boat, portraying the role of Alan Danver, husband of Barbara Danver (played by Juliet Mills). He later appeared as Matt Heller on The Love Boat's episode that aired on 30 October 1982.

Wife and Children

Rowan had been married three times. He was first married to Phyllis Jane Mathis from 1946 until their divorce in 1960. Mathis was 'Miss California 1945' and placed first runner-up in 'Miss America 1945.' Rowan shared three children with his first wife. They had two daughters, Mary Ann and Christie Esther, and one son, Thomas Patrick.

On 17 June 1963, he married his second wife, Australian model Adriana Van Ballegooygn. Their marriage also ended with divorce in July 1974. He was then married to model and television spokeswoman Joanna Young from 7 January 1980 until his death on 22 September 1987.

Cause of Death

On 22 September 1987, Rowan passed away from lymphatic cancer at age 65 in Englewood, Florida. His son, Patrick, had learned about his illness nine months before his death. 

After his death, his family spokeswoman Valerie Douglas told AP News that the family knew about his illness, but they hadn't expected his death that much quicker. Rowan's long-time partner Martin said about their co-working experience with AP News. He said, "Dan was the best straight man - but I don't think he appreciated that until later in our careers. We stayed close. I talked to him last week, fortunately."

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