Auguste

Close up of Ron “Toto” Johnson’s auguste face

Toto Johnson photo gallery

Toto Johnson photo gallery, former Ringling Brother clown – a talented Auguste. (more…)

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Pat Cashin and three of his clown characters

Pat Cashin

Pat Cashin and three of his clown characters
Pat Cashin and three of his clown characters

Pat Cashin (1968- July 24, 2016)

Pat Cashin was a former Ringling Brothers clown, who performed a variety of characters, at a variety of circuses, owner of the Captain Kangaroo character, and was a popular mall Santa.

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Achille Zavata

Achille Zavatta

Achille Zavatta (May 6, 1915 – November 16, 1993)

Achille Zavatta was one of the most famous French clowns, as well as an artist, composer, and circus operator. (more…)

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Barry Lubin as Grandma the Clown

Barry Lubin – Grandma

Barry Lubin as Grandma
Barry Lubin as Grandma

Biography of Barry Lubin – “Grandma”

(July 3, 1952 – )

A member of the 1974 class of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, he performed for 5 years with the Greatest Show on Earth. He also performed at the prestigious International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo in 1977. Since 1982, Barry has been featured in 15 productions of the Big Apple Circus and has become that show’s Director of Clowning conceiving, co-writing and starring in the Big Apple Circus’ production Grandma Goes to Hollywood. He performed at the 6th International Circus Festival of Budapest in January, 2006 where he was awarded the Special Prize from the Director of The Great Moscow Circus. (more…)

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Jackie Le Claire, inducted into 1996 Clown Hall of Fame

Jackie Le Claire (1927 – 2019)




Jackie’s parents were performers with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus when he was born. He started clowning at a very young age, and as a young man became a salaried performer in partnership with his father who was also a clown. When he was 19, Jackie became an aerialist. He soon returned to clowning but maintained his aerial skills. He doubled on the trapeze for Cornell Wilde in the film Greatest Show on Earth. After graduating from high school, Jackie took his father’s place in the show the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey sent to Havana, Cuba. During the 1950’s Jackie booked his one-man act for fairs and other circuses. In the 1960’s he once again worked with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus.

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Charlie Rivel, 1967, performing his act

Charlie Rivel

Josep Andreu i Lasserre (April 23, 1896 – July 26, 1983), best known as Charlie Rivel, was an internationally known Spanish circus clown. He was born in Cubelles (Barcelona, Spain). His parents Pere Andreu Pausas (Spanish) and Marie-Louise Lasarre (French) were circus artists as well.

Charlie Rivel was Europe’s most famous and popular clown. His costume trademark was a long red jersey that had accidentally been stretched in the laundry. A performance at the Grona Lunds Tivoli in Stockholm in 1979 marked his 80th year in show business. (more…)

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Steve "T.J. Tatters" Smith (1951 - )

Steve Smith, aka. TJ Tatters

Steve “T.J. Tatters” Smith (1951 – )

Steve Smith, aka. TJ TattersSteve 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 for the next six years. He moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he received his bachelor’s degree in acting from the Goodman School of Drama. At Clown College, Steve not only served in an administrative capacity, but also taught several classes and conducted nationwide auditions for new students. Steve’s energy and enthusiasm has made him a popular teacher and lecturer on clowning throughout the U.S. He was appointed director for the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey circus in 1992. (more…)

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Face of Leon McBryde as Buttons

Leon McBryde, aka. “Buttons” biography

Leon McBryde, aka. “Buttons” (1943 – )

Inducted into the 1990 Clown Hall of Fame

Buttons, Leon McBrydeGrowing up in Texas, at the age of 7 young Leon McBryde watched Lou Jacobs perform in the Ringling Brothers circus, and thought that it would be wonderful to do that when he grew up.

In 1969, he got that opportunity when “Buttons” was accepted into the Ringling Brothers Clown College; a year later, he was touring with the Blue Unit of Ringling as a professional clown, and the following year working as Ringling’s Good Will Ambassador — as well as teaching at their Clown College.   He spent the next six years traveling coast to coast, performing at schools and hospitals. (more…)

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Lou Jacobs listening

Lou Jacobs biography – Auguste circus clown

Lou Jacobs (January 1, 1903 – September 13, 1992)

Lou Jacobs listeningInducted into the 1989 Clown Hall of Fame

Lou Jacobs is a legend among clowns. Nearly a decade after his death, he is still immediately recognizable to millions of people, with his bulbous nose, cone-head topped by a tiny fedora hat with a shock of bright red hair around his ears and the ever-present oversize plaid coat, Lou Jacobs personified clowning for Children of All Ages. He entertained audiences at Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey for more than 60 years before retiring from performing at age 84. (more…)

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Michael Polakov - Coco

Michael Polakovs, aka Coco

clown pictures - Michael Polakov - "Coco" - 1991 Clown Hall of FameMICHAEL “Coco” POLAKOVS (1923 – 2009)

Inducted into the 1991 Clown Hall of Fame

Coco is a third generation Russian circus clown, who achieved his fame in England where the family came while he was a youth. He was associated with the Bertram Mills and Billy Smart Circuses in England, which later included tours of Europe. (more…)

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