Eric W. Allen, 45, lighting salesman

April 29, 2006

Eric W. Allen, a lighting salesman and a member of the Screen Actors Guild, died of cancer April 22 at his brother's home in suburban Atlanta. He was 45.

Born in Binghamton, N.Y., where he attended schools, he moved to Northeast Baltimore in 1980.

For the past 25 years he worked in sales at Champion Industries in Owings Mills, a distributor of electrical supplies. In the early 1990s he dressed as a light bulb and stood outdoors, waving to motorists at York and Padonia roads.

"He was the top contributor to the company all the years he worked here," said Andrew Stafford, a co-worker.

Dressed in the light bulb costume, he appeared in a beer commercial as Light Bulb Man. He also had a spot in a Maryland State Lottery commercial.

He also appeared in Homicide: Life on the Street and in crowd shots in The Wire. He performed with the Vagabonds in A View from the Bridge and in a Spotlighters' production of The Grapes of Wrath.

A Ravens fan, he was the co-author of a book, The Great Football War (1984-1995), which he wrote with W. Dennis Hand.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. May 6 at the Schimunek Funeral Home, 3331 Brehms Lane.

Survivors include his mother, Dawn Allen of Peachtree City, Ga.; two brothers, Gary Allen of Baldwinsville, N.Y., and David C. Allen of Sharpsburg, Ga.; and nieces and nephews.

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