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Christopher Bowman (the Showman) has passed away.

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SonofMammaMiaSam
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LOS ANGELES - Christopher Bowman, 40, the former U.S. figure skating champion dubbed "Bowman the Showman" for his flair on the ice, died Thursday of a possible drug overdose, authorities said.
Mr. Bowman was pronounced dead at 12:06 p.m., said Coroner's Lt. Joe Bale, who wasn't immediately able to provide more details about the possible drug overdose. Mr. Bowman's body was found at a motel in the North Hills section of Los Angeles, and an autopsy was planned for this weekend, Bale said.

"He just passed away in his sleep," Mr. Bowman's mother, Joyce, told the Detroit Free Press, which first reported details of his death. "His friend told me that he was fine. He just went to bed and didn't wake up."

Mr. Bowman, a former child actor, was one of figure skating's bigger personalities in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Immensely talented, with a gift for performance that few others could match, he won the U.S. men's figure skating titles in 1989 and 1992, and was runner-up in 1987 and 1991.

He also won a silver medal in the 1989 world championships, and a bronze the next year. He skated in the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics, finishing seventh in 1988 and fourth in 1992.

"If I had to pick the three most talented skaters of all time, I would pick Christopher as one," Brian Boitano, the 1988 Olympic champion, told the Chicago Tribune. "He had natural charisma, natural athleticism, he could turn on a crowd in a matter of seconds and he always seemed so relaxed about it."

But as talented as he was on the ice, Mr. Bowman could be just as big a challenge off it. He bounced from coach to coach long before it became fashionable - he once won Skate America when he was in-between coaches - and freely admitted that practice was something that just didn't interest him much.

"Each and every competition that I train for, prepare for, is always a personal challenge for me because, as we all know, the training and discipline between each event is very difficult for me," Mr. Bowman said in 1992.

He battled drug problems, and underwent treatment at least twice - once before the 1988 Olympics and then again after the Albertville Games in 1992.

He also had run-ins with the law.

In November 2004, he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors involving having a gun while drunk in Rochester Hills, Mich.

In 1993, while skating with the Ice Capades, he was beaten at a hotel in a seedy neighborhood in Pittsburgh, according to a police report.

Richard Callaghan, coach of Mr. Bowman's longtime rival, Todd Eldredge, said he was saddened to learn of Bowman's death.

"When Todd told me, I said, 'What a shame,' " Callaghan told the Free Press. "Christopher was such a nice person. Even though he was troubled, he was very genuine and friendly.

"There was a great rivalry between Christopher and Todd because they were so opposite. Christopher was always on; he was the star when it came to doing any competitions. Most of us didn't know how he did it, but he did."

Born in Hollywood, on March 30, 1967, Mr. Bowman played the role of Benjamin in the TV series Little House on the Prairie for one season and appeared in dozens of commercials. He got into coaching after his skating career had ended, and the Free Press said he had lived in the Detroit area from 1995 until last February.

Recently, Mr. Bowman had returned to acting. He had a role as an assistant coach in the upcoming Brian J. De Palma-directed movie "Down and Distance" starring Gary Busey.

Mr. Bowman had a daughter with his former wife, Annette Bowman, according to the Free Press.

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bdwaygirl
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I used to watch skating all the time, and I don't remember him at all.
I hung out with Cheyenne Jackson in his dressing room waayyyyyy before he tickled D2.

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Bluemoon
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I heard this driving in this morning. How sad. He was a joy to watch.
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SonofMammaMiaSam
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PalJoey
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Very sad. One of those talented people who battled demons his whole life.

But when he was something, he was really something.

re: Christopher Bowman (the Showman) has passed away.
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EponineAmneris
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I was/am a skating fan (as much as one can be these days with NOTHING much going on or even on TV) and he truly was quite the showman.

Rest in Peace.
"TO LOVE ANOTHER PERSON IS TO SEE THE FACE OF GOD"- LES MISERABLES--- "THERE'S A SPECIAL KIND OF PEOPLE KNOWN AS SHOW PEOPLE... WE'RE BORN EVERY NIGHT AT HALF HOUR CALL!"--- CURTAINS
WOSQ
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Did you read this, Britney and Lindsay?

This life is a cautionary tale as ever was. After the 92 Olympics he had maybe one or two good years, and then he just about lost it all. Bowman skated as a pro only for a season or two. The huge weight gain happened as soon as he stopped skating. He never got any A list or even B list skaters to coach because he had a rep for no discipline.

It goes to show you that talent can take you only so far.
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
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cturtle
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this news breaks my heart re: Christopher Bowman (the Showman) has passed away. i saw him win the US title in orlando in 92. he was a huge breath of fresh air to men's figure skating. he was not always well trained, but when he was on, he was ON ... and one of the most entertaining skaters ever.

i cannot think of chris without seeing his exhibition program BAD BOY ... wagging his finger for the "judges." to pass at such a young age makes me so sad re: Christopher Bowman (the Showman) has passed away.

here are photos i took of him in orlando in 92 ...

re: Christopher Bowman (the Showman) has passed away.
re: Christopher Bowman (the Showman) has passed away.
re: Christopher Bowman (the Showman) has passed away.
re: Christopher Bowman (the Showman) has passed away.



USFSA story
RIP glebby <3
Updated On: 1/12/08 at 09:38 PM
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uncageg
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For me, this just kind of came out of nowhere. I remember watching him skate a lot. Loved him. May he rest in peace.
Just give the world Love.
LaurenB
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"but when he was on, he was ON"

So true! bdwaygirl, he had the "it" factor.
88 Olympics - short program
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mominator
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Such sad news and he was amazing to watch!
"All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen." Conan O'Brien
LaurenB
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I was always on the edge of my seat watching him. Here is his long program from the 88 Olympics, and you can see how he feels the music.
88 Olympics - long program
LaurenB
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This clip is breathtaking.
87 Exhibition - Maria