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). An engagement at the Cirque Medrano after World War I was so successful that it sparked a strong resurgence of interest in the circus.
By 1923, the Fratellini brothers had become the darling of the Parisian intellectuals, lauded in print and worshiped by adoring fans who would show up at the circus just in time for the Fratellini entree, which sometimes ran as long as forty-five minutes. The Fratellini’s success has been attributed to many factors, but above all they succeeded because of their talent and experience.
Francois Fratellini was inducted into the 2000 Clown Hall of Fame.