Bowen achieved cult status in Bullseye, a game show where contestants threw darts and answered basic general knowledge questions to progress.
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The show's Twitter account posted a message from creator Andrew Wood and his daughter Laura: "We are devastated to announce that our friend & Bullseye presenter Jim Bowen has passed away".
Bowen began his working life at the age of 15 as a dustman before training as a PE teacher, later becoming a deputy headmaster. "RIP to the best game show host and a lovely man".
The show later became the butt of jokes for its often-impractical star prizes like speedboats or caravans.
His wife confirmed the news to BBC Radio Lancashire.
As well as Bullseye, Bowen also had a number of TV acting roles, including in Last Of The Summer Wine, Muck And Brass, Jonathan Creek, The Grimleys, and the second series of Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights.
Tributes have flooded in for the star, including from comedian Jim Davidson who took to Twitter to pay tribute, writing: "RIP Jim Bowen. Jim & Ken Dodd sad time for the entertainment industry".
His agent Patsy Martin told the Press Association: "He has sadly died". "We are all shedding a tear", Pleus said. "It wasn't completely unexpected, he's been ill for several weeks in hospital", he said.
"As with people getting on, Jim has had several strokes, one in 2011". "Strokes just make you weaker and more susceptible to infections, but we don't know what the cause..."