Fowler, Will 1922-2004
FOWLER, Will 1922-2004
See index for CA sketch: Born August 29, 1922, in Jamaica, NY; died of prostate cancer, April 14, 2004, in Burbank, CA. Journalist, publicist, and author. A colorful journalist who worked for the Los Angeles Examiner in the 1940s, Fowler later became involved with television and penned acclaimed books and a hit Broadway play. The son of the famous newspaperman Gene Fowler, who had many Hollywood connections, the young Fowler grew up knowing such renowned actors and writers as W. C. Fields, John Barrymore, and William Faulkner. He developed an early love of music and became a talented pianist while still attending Beverly Hills High School. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, he joined the Examiner in 1944 as a reporter. A few years later, in 1947, he gained attention as the first reporter on the scene of the Black Dahlia murder in which a young woman named Elizabeth Short was cut in two. This and other stories of his reporter days were later recounted in his 1991 book, Reporters: Memoirs of a Young Newspaperman. Fowler left the newspaper business in 1952 to exercise other writing talents. For a year he wrote for The Red Skelton Show, and he also wrote songs, including 1959's "He's So Married," which was performed by Doris Day. He also penned a biography about his well-known father, The Young Man from Denver (1962). During much of the 1950s, Fowler worked for American Airlines as a public relationship representative before returning to television as director of news and public affairs for KTTV from 1959 to 1960; he also worked for Twentieth Century-Fox television as a publicist for series such as Daniel Boone and Twelve O'Clock High. Interested in the stage, as well, Fowler wrote the off-Broadway play Julius Castro (1961) and the Broadway sensation Barrymore with William Luce. Barrymore, which earned its star, Christopher Plummer, a Tony Award, ran from 1996 to 1997. Other books by Fowler include The Ping-Pong Table (1966) and the autobiography The Second Handshake (1980).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2004, p. B13.
New York Times, April 17, 2004, p. A13.
Washington Post, April 19, 2004, p. B7.