Bowen achieved cult status in Bullseye, a game show where contestants threw darts and answered basic general knowledge questions to progress.
And his his much-loved catchphrase "you can't beat a bit of Bully" was a firm favourite with fans.
He is survived by his wife Phyllis and their two children.
Tributes have poured in for the star across social media.
Born Peter Williams in August 1937, Bowen became a teacher at schools in Lancashire and subsequently deputy headmaster of Caton primary near Lancaster.
The television personality was best known, for hosting the TV darts gameshow Bullseye in the 1980s and1980s that regularly attracted 12million viewers.
The show later became the butt of jokes for its often-impractical star prizes like speedboats or caravans.
He presented a live morning magazine programme on Radio Lancashire from 1999 to 2003.
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He also had a number of TV acting roles, including in Muck and Brass, Jonathan Creek, The Grimleys, and as Hoss Cartwright in the second series of Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights.
JIM Bowen has sadly passed away aged 80.
Bowen was inspired to become a comedian after watching Ken Dodd in Blackpool. Jim & Ken Dodd sad time for the entertainment industry'.
"He passed away very peacefully, [Phyllis] was with him. We are all shedding a tear", he said.
'I didn't show them I was proud of them, though I think they knew, ' he once said.
"It wasn't completely unexpected, he's been ill for several weeks in hospital".
Jim has suffered a decline in his health in recent years, having suffered two mild strokes in 2011.