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Red Skelton

Age: 84
comedian, actor

America's clown prince won the hearts of generations, with his good-natured, sentimental patter, pratfalls and observant, hilarious characterizations. His best-known characters include Willie Lump-Lump, the Mean Widdle Kid and Freddie the Freeloader. He started performing in rural vaudeville shows as a teenager and began his film career with 1937's Having a Wonderful Time. His successful radio show, “Red Skelton's Scrapbook of Satire,” led to his enormously popular television series, The Red Skelton Show, which ran from 1951 to 1971, when CBS canceled it, despite fine ratings. His other films include I Dood It, Bathing Beauty and Neptune's Daughter.

Born: 1913
Died: Sept. 17, 1997

Reid Shelton1997 DeathsFrank Slocum