Whiteface Clowns

Umberto "Antonet" Guillaume

Umberto “Antonet” Guillaume (1872-1935)

Born in Brescia, Italy, Antonet was the son of a famous family of Italian clowns. He followed in Footit’s tradition as an “authoritarian” whiteface clown. George Speaight credits Antonet with introducing the loose spangled dress, with calf-length trousers that became associated with the European whiteface clown. Antonet first became famous working straight to Little Walter. […]

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Frank "Slivers" Oakley in his baseball skit

Frank “Slivers” Oakley

Frank Oakley, aka. Slivers, 1871-1916 Frank Oakley, also known as Slivers (1871 – 1916) was the most popular circus clown of his generation. Born in Sweden, both of Oakley’s parents were concert singers. At the age of 14 he began to practice as a contortionist and at 16 he joined his first circus. His parents […]

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Dimitri

Dimitri (1935 – )

Dimitri was born in Ascona, Switzerland (1935). When he was seven years old he decided he wanted to become a clown. After graduating from school, Dimitri became an apprentice potter while studying music and theater. He went to Paris to study under Etienne Decrox, then Marcel Marceau. In 1959, he was hired as an Auguste […]

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swede_johnson_smoking

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 in Germany; later that year, he came […]

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Duane Thorpe, aka. Uncle Soapy

Duane Thorpe, Uncle Soapy, whiteface circus clown

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 the years, his moniker was actually based […]

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Dr. Richard Snowberg as Snowflake Junior

Biography of Richard Snowberg, aka Snowflake – caring clown, founder of Clown Camp

Richard Snowberg (??? – ) – Snowflake I met Dr. Richard Snowberg when my wife & I attended Clown Camp ® at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse in 1998. Unfortunately, Dr. Snowberg, the founder of Clown Camp, was not able to participate that year, as he had to teach classes that week.   Yes, […]

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Frankie Saluto

Frankie Saluto – famous circus clown

FRANKIE SALUTO (1906 – 1982) Inducted into the 1991 Clown Hall of Fame

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Color photo of Paul Jung - face

Paul Jung, famous producing circus clown

Paul Jung (March 18, 1900 – April 21, 1965) Inducted into the Clown Hall of Fame in 1992. Paul Jung way born in Dayton, Ohio in 1901 to Paul and Mary Young, who were themselves professional entertainers. As a youngster, Paul Jung first performed in a vaudeville acrobatic act with his brothers, but in 1917 […]

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Paul Fratellini (1877 - 1940)

Paul Fratellini, of the famous Fratellini clown trio

Paul Fratellini (1877 – 1940) The Fratellini’s were a smoothly functioning trio whose characters provided effective contrasts: Francois, the elegant one (the white face); Albert, the grotesque, and Paul halfway between them, sometimes taking one brother’s side, sometimes the other’s. (Albert was inducted into the Clown Hall of Fame in 1994). An engagement at the […]

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Francois Fratellini

Francois Fratellini, famous white face clown

Francois Fratellini (1879 – 1951) The Fratellini’s were a smoothly functioning trio whose characters provided effective contrasts: Francois, the elegant white face clown; Albert Fratellini, the grotesque (comedy) whiteface, and Paul Fratellini half-way between them, sometimes taking one brother’s side, sometimes the other’s. (Albert Fratellini was inducted into the Clown Hall of Fame in 1994). […]

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