Home » Archive by categoryCircus clowns (Page 3)

Joe Jackson Sr (1873-1942)

Joe Jackson Sr.
Joe Jackson Sr. was born as Joseph Francis Jiranek in Vienna, Austria. He was Austrian bicycle champion, and a member of a world champion bicycle polo team before he became an entertainer. He started with a serious bike riding act, and then developed it into a comedy break-...
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Bumpsy Anthony

Bumpsy Anthony
GEORGE “BUMPSY ANTHONY” HULME (1901-1989) “Bumpsy Anthony” was born George Anthony Hulme in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Bumpsy Anthony began his career in vaudeville with a breakaway bicycle act and then moved to circuses as a clown. Bumpsy Anthony left home to join the circus at the age of...
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Paul Wenzel

Paul Wenzel, in one of his props, seemingly pulled by a goose
Professor Paul Wenzel was born in 1878, and performed as  a circus clown for over 60 years throughout the United States of America. Paul Wenzel appeared with large and small shows before finding a permanent home with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
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Swede Johnson

Swede Johnson was born Carl Gehlert Johansen in Ribe, Denmark in 1903. Swede was a fourth generation circus performer, and traveled with his family in their own circus throughout the Scandinavian countries while growing up. At the age of 15, he went to work in the Hagenbeck Zoo...
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Tommy Hanneford

Tommy Hanneford biography (September 27, 1927 – December 5, 2005) Thomas Robert Hanneford, “The funniest man on horseback,” nephew of  Poodles Hanneford, famous circus clown and trick rider, has passed away in Sarasota, Florida, U.S.A. Tommy Hanneford was born into the circus, as part of the Royal Hanneford...
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Fratellini Brothers

The Fratellini-Clowns at Scala music  hall in Berlin, Photograph, Around 1930 (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images) [Die Fratellini-Clowns im Scala Theater in Berlin, Photographie, Um 1930] The Fratellini Brothers were a famous European circus family in the late 1900s and 1920s. An engagement at the Circus Medrano in Paris,...
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Peggy Williams, circus clown

Peggy Williams circus clown
Peggy Williams, while a speech pathology major at theUniversity of Wisconsin  where her focus was on working in  deaf education, thought clowning might sharpen her nonverbal communication skills. She became interested in Clown College and became the  first female graduate of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circuses...
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Duane Thorpe, Uncle Soapy, whiteface circus clown

Duane Thorpe, aka. Uncle Soapy
Duane “Uncle Soapy” Thorpe (1924 – 1995) Inducted into the 2000 Clown Hall of Fame. Duane “Uncle Soapy” Thorpe is one of the few clowns to have had a successful career while working for only one circus. (Although Duane was in his fair share of soap gags through...
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Steve Smith, aka. TJ Tatters

Steve "T.J. Tatters" Smith (1951 - )
Steve “T.J. Tatters” Smith (1951 – ) Steve Smith is best known as the director of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey‘s Clown College. He was a graduate of the college (1971) and a performer and goodwill ambassador with the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey show’s blue unit...
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Frankie Saluto – famous circus clown

Frankie Saluto
FRANKIE SALUTO (1906 – 1982) Inducted into the 1991 Clown Hall of Fame Frankie Saluto was short in stature, but quickly became big in clowning circles. He began clowning in 1928 and shortly afterwards joined the Ringling Brothers Circus. He became known as the whiteface dwarf with the...
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