whiteface clown

Bozo - Bill Britten - in New York City

Bill Britten biography [Bozo the Clown]

William Cohen (1928 – February 4, 2020) was an American actor born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He’s better know as Bill Britten, the Bozo the Clown in the New York City market in the 1950’s and 60’s.

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Merlin "Shorty" Hinkle

Shorty Hinkle [circus clown]

Merlin “Shorty” Hinkle (Nov 13, 1905 – Feb 25, 1977) He was born Merlin Hinkle in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, USA on November 13, 1905. He became known in the circus world as Shorty Hinkle.

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Bozos_Circus_postcard_1960s

Different Types of Clowns

There are three basic types of clowns: The Whiteface clown is the oldest and most well-known of the clowns The Auguste  clown is the least intelligent, and zaniest of the clowns The character clown is most commonly represented by the Sad Tramp or Happy Hobo Special thanks to Jim Howle, for the graphics of the clowns found on these pages.

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Pat Valdo's famous whiteface clown on a Ringling Brothers poster

Pat Valdo

Pat Valdo (1881-1970) Pat Valdo had a long career with the American circus.  He became one of the iconic clowns, and later became director of personnel at the Ringling Brothers circus.

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Swede Johnson “salutes”

Swede Johnson photo gallery

Swede Johnson photo gallery, famous circus clown and animal trainer. After coming to the United States, Swede took the first job that he could find – as a rodeo clown, afterward becoming a circus clown. He then had a long career in the circus, working at different times and circuses as clown, animal trainer, and other […]

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Frankie Saluto and bunny

Frankie Saluto photo gallery

Frankie Saluto photo gallery – Frankie Saluto was a famous circus clown and little person, who became famous with the Ringling Brothers Circus as the whiteface dwarf with the large live rabbit. His career also included an interpretation of a miniature Charlie Chaplin and he was a member of the Ringling Giants, a midget baseball team […]

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Bill Ballantine, dean of Clown College

Bill Ballantine photo gallery

Bill Ballantine photo gallery – Bill Ballantine, illustrator and writer, traveled with the Ringling Brothers circus during the 1946 tour, caught the bug and become a professional clown the following season.  From 1969 through 1977, Ballantine served as dean of the Clown College.

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Paul Wenzel, color photo from the International Clown Hall of Fame

Paul Wenzel photo gallery circus clown

Paul Wenzel photo gallery circus clown – 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. Many of these photos […]

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Face of Glenn Frosty Little

Frosty Little photo gallery

Frosty Little photo gallery dedicated to Frosty Little, “Boss Clown” of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus for several years.

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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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