Harry Townes

Harry Townes

86 (passed away May. 23rd, 2001)
Sep. 18th, 1914
Born in
Huntsville, Alabama, USA

Harry Townes' Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
The Mississippi TV Show
The Mississippi

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Harry Townes was born and died in Huntsville, Alabama, where he served as an ordained Episcopal priest. Aside from Huntsville and the priesthood, he had a distinguished, prolific, and quite long career as a character actor in movies and on television. He attended the University of Alabama in the 1930s, but moved to New York, before finishing, in order to study acting. He found his niche at Columbia University where he also received his undergraduate degree. From there, it was on to roles on stage -- his first in 1936 playing Captain Tim in "Tobacco Road". A two-year run in the part of a leprechaun in "Finian's Rainbow" came next -- a role that also took him to London. After a spattering of roles in the movies, Townes found his greatest presence on television, amassing a very large portfolio of roles for his handbag of characters. "Studio One" (1948), "Playhouse 90" (1956) and "Kraft Television Theatre" (1953) all enjoyed his contributions. The more popular "Gunsmoke" (1955), "Perry Mason" (1957), "Star Trek" (1966), "Rawhide" (1959) and "Bonanza" (1959) also benefited from Townes' acting skills. Though he continued to perform occasionally into old age, he quit his Beverly Hills home and lifestyle, entered the priesthood, and settled back into his hometown of Huntsville in the 1970s.

  • Retired in 1970 and became an Episcopalian minister at Church of the Bells, Palm Springs, CA.
  • He attended the University of Alabama, but later transferred to, and graduated from, Columbia University.
  • In the 1970's, he put himself through the seminary to become an Episcopal priest.
  • Is interred at Maple Hill Cemetery. Huntsville, Alabama.
  • Served in the Air Corps for four years during World War II.

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