Mark Anthony, famous circus tramp clown
Mark Anthony was born Mark Galkowski in Norwich, Connecticut in 1915. During the depression, he first joined the circus in 1937 in South Carolina. Except for a two-year stint in the Merchant Marines during World War II, he spent most of his life working with various circuses: Sells-Floto, Harris Show, Dan Rice Circus, Clyde-Beaty-Cole Bros., and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. Although in early years he was seen as a whiteface, throughout the past decades he has been a unique tramp clown. He spent four years working with a circus in Australia, and 10 weeks in the Soviet Union.
Mark Anthony was a master sculptor and prop maker as well. He loved to carve and has created hundreds of different clowns from wood, foam, paper mache, and other products. His carved animal props were very realistic. Mark Anthony was inducted into the 1989 Clown Hall of Fame.
You may also be interested in his photo gallery at Clown Pictures.
Quotes from Mark Anthony:
- I love my work, if you want to call it that. It’s quite different from most jobs, but it’s still work.
- I was about eight when I first saw some clown working a comedy mule. I decided that’s what I wanted to do.
- I once carved a camel out of a sofa. Around here you have to watch your bed. If it’s made of foam it may become an ostrich or an elephant.
- The circus is ever-old and ever-new.
- You’ve got to go through with the same zest and zip you’ve always had. Sure, you have a few more aches and pains as you grow older, but you can’t just go out with the idea of getting it over with. You’ve got to expend yourself.
- Do what you really have your heart set on. Go ahead and take a crack at it and you’ll never regret it.
- Clowns are happy, but there are sad days too.
- (on his decision to leave the Ringling Bros. circus) I decided it was time to circulate around. In Ringling they expect you to keep going year-round and after 13 years I decided I’d seen all the Ringling circuit had to offer.