Earl Rowe was long a familiar figure to members of the New York theater community, as well as to science fiction cultists. A veteran of Broadway, off-Broadway, and industrial shows since the 1950s, he appeared in only two movies, one of which was the Irvin S. Yeaworth classic The Blob (1958). Born in 1920, Rowe auditioned successfully for 20th Century Fox in the summer of 1941, but the worsening war situation caused studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck to cancel the hiring of any new male contract players, thus short-circuiting his film career before it started. Rowe served in the infantry during World War II, commanding a mortar squad, and returned to acting after the war. In addition to work on the New York stage and in Philadelphia (some of it in association with the Hedgerow Theater Company in Rose Valley, PA), he appeared in industrial shows, on television, and in commercials; he was very visible in the late '50s in an Armor Ham television ad in which he voiced the emphatic tag line, "Now that's good ham." In 1957, Rowe was chosen to play the role of the sympathetic police chief in The Blob, an unusually good sci-fi thriller that had the special attributes of being shot in color and on location on the East Coast; it also starred a young Steve McQueen in his first major movie role. As a result, the film has been re-shown and re-released theatrically for decades, and on television, home video, and, more recently, on DVD. After The Blob's release, Rowe looked into doing more film work but was told that his heavy-set build would probably limit him to villainous roles, so he chose to remain on the stage and television. He worked for three years on the NBC soap opera The Doctors, and his next and final film appearance was as a guard captain (in a role written specifically for him) in the docudrama Attica (1980), directed by Marvin Chomsky. Rowe recalled in a 1988 interview that, because of The Blob and the sympathetic role that he played in it, whenever he appeared before audiences of sci-fi fans, he always received a positive reception. Rowe passed away in 2002 from Parkinson's disease.