Bruce Gowers, Director Of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Music Video, Dies At 82

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Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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Bruce Gowers, the director behind Queen’s iconic “Bohemian Rhapsody” music video and several seasons of the hit television show “American Idol,” died Sunday at the age of 82.

Gowers’ family confirmed he died in Santa Monica after suffering complications from an acute respiratory infection, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Gowers worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Michael Jackson, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Rush and Rod Stewart, according to the Reporter. He was also behind dozens of award shows and hundreds of music videos, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Gowers was highly respected in the industry, and was widely regarded as a specialist in live events and televised specials. He directed, and sometimes produced the Emmys, The Billboard Awards, the ESPYs and the People’s Choice Awards, to name a few, according to the Reporter.

He called the shots for an astounding 234 episodes of “American Idol” from 2002-2011 and won an Emmy for outstanding directing for a variety, music or comedy series in 2009.

Gowers’ work on the music video for Huey Lewis and the News’ “Heart of Rock and Roll” resulted in a Grammy win. He was also honored with a Directors Guild of America award for his work on the CBS special “Genius: A Night for Ray Charles.”

The talented director also helmed comedy specials from Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Richard Lewis and Eddie Murphy and was the mastermind behind music specials from Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. (RELATED: ‘Stop The Televised Horse Race’: Actress Cate Blanchett Slams Awards Shows While Onstage At Critics Choice Ceremony)

Gowers’ handling of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” video helped to launch Freddie Mercury to superstardom and changed the way music videos were created, marketed and perceived by the public, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Fans can also see Gowers’ talent on display in videos for Rod Stewart’s “Hot Legs,” Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You,” Prince’s “1999,” John Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane,” the Rolling Stones “Fool to Cry,” Rush’s “Limelight,” the Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love,” Supertramp’s “Goodbye Stranger,” Chaka Kahn’s “I’m Every Woman,” and and Journey’s “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’.”

Gowers is survived by his former wife, Charlene; his daughter, Katharine; his son, Sean; and his grandchildren, Sean Jr., Robert, Charlotte and Layla.

He “always brought boundless enthusiasm, energy, passion and joy to his work,” his family said in a statement, according to the Reporter. “Funny, irreverent and wonderfully candid, he will be remembered in countless legendary stories that will keep his charming spirit alive for many years to come.”