Wednesday, May 19, 2010

R is for RED Skelton

Bonjour from Campagne Maison


"R" is for Red Skelton, the artist

Richard "Red" Skelton
Triple Self portrait

On July 18, 1913, America's beloved clown, "Freddie the Freeloader", was born. He was named Richard "Red" Skelton. Red's father was a Circus clown who died shortly before his son's birth. It soon became evident that the clown gene was passed onto Red as he began working with the circus, but "Freddie the Freeloader" didn't made his appearance in 1951.

When Red was 10 years old, he was introduced into show business by Ed Wynn. And, by the time he was 15, he was working full time in burlesque, showboats, minstrel shows and the circus. Although Red Skelton is most noted for his success as a comedian and actor, he was a man of many talents including an accomplished artist. It was his love of clowns that actually motivated him to start painting. When asked why he became an artist, Red related a story that reflects his wit and humor.

"I walked into this gallery and was looking at a painting of a clown when the salesman came up to me. I asked him how much the painting was and he said, five thousand wouldn't touch it. I was shocked and immediately told him I was one of them and left."

As the story goes, Red Skelton went out and bought a set of paints, and began painting. A Red Skelton original could sell for as much as $80,000 prior to his death in 1997, and may bring more today. Red Skelton clown paintings are coveted by collectors around the world. His works are a sound investment in art, as well as a recognized collector's delight, revealing the man who painted them. His art work has proven its value with other contemporary artists and their worth has no limit. They are intensely moving, winning him the Footprints in the Sands of Time award... one of the highest honors an artist can receive.


Red
was inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame in 1989 and was presented the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Governors award in 1986. He was also a Free Mason, a Shriner, a member of both the Scottish and York Rite, and a member of the LA Shriners. He composed music and wrote children's books in addition to breeding quarter horses on his ranch outside Palm Springs. In the early 1960's, Red was the first CBS host to tape weekly programs in color.


Red's famous sign off at the end of his weekly television show was "Good Night and God Bless".

On September 17, 1974, at the age of 84, Red and Freddie passed away. Their body lies in rest at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, in Glendale, CA.

I am linking up with Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday. Please grab her button on my side bar and head over to class to read all the other student's "R" words.

Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit. We love having company.

Au revoir,

http://www.redskelton.com/BIOGRAPHY.htm

44 comments:

Always Nesting said...

This post brings back memories :)

Debbie said...

I loved this guy....great R post!

RNSANE said...

I always loved Red Skelton. He was a funny man with a good heart.

My "R" won't be up till midnight.

Mary Lou said...

I almost cried just thinking of Red when I was growing up. We couldn't wait for him to come on tv and loved Freddie and Gertrude and Hecliff. What an amazing man.
thank you for sharing this.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I remember seeing him in tributes to comics. He had amazing timing.

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

Thank you for the trip down Memory Lane. I remember our entire family watching Red Skelton on television when I was a child. I hadn't thought about him in a long time.

Christy said...

I had no idea. You don't find many (i can't think of any off hand) celebrities these days as well rounded and caring as Red. Great post!

lissa said...

I didn't know he's a painter, I always thought he was a comedian

anyway, nice tribute post

Short and Sweet said...

Oh how your post brought back happy memories. I used to really enjoy The Red Skelton Show when it was on TV. He was a remarkable talent and I'm sure missed by many to this day.

Jo said...

that was a beautiful post ... he was so darn funny, i just loved him. thanks for the warm and fuzzy memories

Sarah said...

Red Skelton was definitely a funny man and great entertainer. Thanks for bringing up some fun memories. ~ Sarah

Christy said...

thanks for the reminder of this great funny man and painter. boy do i wish i could have convinced my parents way back when that a clown picture could be a good investment!

SquirrelQueen said...

He was one of may favorites growing up, he brought so much laughter to several generations.

I do a lot of genealogy and have been researching the name Skelton in our family tree. It looks like Red might have been a distant cousin on my mom's side of the family.
The Road to Here

Tracy said...

Thanks I like to learn about new people

mbkatc230 said...

Wonderful choice for R. I always loved him, and his show was a treat every week. Thanks for bringing back some very fond memories. Kathy

Terra said...

My dad was a fan! Loved learning about him. Great R! I am not personally familiar but have heard a lot and this was a neat post to read

tellmeastorymommy.com said...

Red Skelton makes me smile. I love the triple self-portrait. Thanks for sharing.

amariaf2000 said...

Great post!!! Can't say that I knew who Red Skeleton was before reading this (is that bad?), but it sure was good reading!

~angela @ peonypatch
www.mccalled.com/peonypatch

Viki said...

I loved watching Red when I was little. How fun he was. I never knew some of the back story. That was very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Great post. One of my earliest memories is watching Red with my dad. He was so funny. His pantomines were classic. From everything I have seen or read, he was loved by everyone. He dood it all. TL

Pondside said...

You've brought us all back to childhood and the flickering black and white TV. We loved Red in our family - watched him faithfully. There's never been anyone quite like him.

Red Couch Recipes said...

I had no idea, in addition to his comedic talents, that he was an artist. I remember watching him when I was a kid and I thought he was so funny. Great informative post! Joni

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

You know...when I fist started learning English...I always hear that phase...
thank you so much for the retro...

mine is here
wanna try my meme, Weekend Funnies ?
Happy Thursday!
hugs
shakira

laterg8r said...

really cool post - love it :D

GFDINER - Kathy said...

Thanks for bringing back memories of watching RED with my dad. I can hear my dad laughing, really laughing. thanks for this wonderful post and he was a wonderful man and clown.

http://blog.gfdiner.com

Amanda said...

What a nice tribute to a wonderful man! I've always enjoyed Red Skelton, and now I appreciate him even more.

Julie Schuler said...

I didn't realize he died so long ago. Learn something new every day.

Brimful Curiosities said...

My parents have a set of Red Skeleton DVDs. Sometime I'll have to watch one.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I love Red Skelton, couldn't wait for him to come on when I was a kid. Thanks for the memories..

Tony, Jimi, Nicki, Joey, Ryan and Kaycee said...

Wow! What a great R post! Definately brings you back...

Cheryl said...

I loved learning all of the other facets of his life beyond the show. What an amazing man.

Steph said...

I had no idea red Skeleton led such a full and artistic life. Such and interesting post. Thank you.

Barb said...

Hi Jacque,

Red was always a favorite of mine. You did him proud.

big hugs,
Barb

Aging Mommy said...

I confess I had not heard before of Red (I use the excuse that I am English for my ignorance) so this was an interesting story for me to read, thank you

Maggie B said...

Very interesting R post, you always find really great topics for A-T.
Good Night God Bless was what my mother always said when she tucked us up at night.
Thanks for the memories.
~Maggie~

H said...

What an informative post :)

Melinda Cornish said...

what a cool post...I remember seeing him on tv when I was really little....I love his clown paintings too......

Janean said...

oh my goodness! i remember red skelton too.... we watched him every week when i was a little girl.

mub said...

I think maybe I need to watch some of his things! I somehow completely missed out, though I have at least heard of him. Thanks for the bio =)

Jenny said...

What a clever link!

I would never have thought of Red Skelton even though your post brought back so many memories.

And I guess I never even realized how "deep" he was as a person! He sounds like such a good man.

Thanks for sharing this interesting post with us on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's Letter "R".

A+

Sea Witch said...

Can't beleive I almost missed this post. I adored watching Red Skelton on TV for years as a little girl. He always made me laugh and his humor was so sweet. Hope all is well with you and you are enjoying the beginning of summer daze. Sea witch

Anna said...

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
Dear Jacque,
Sorry I am so late with my comments.

I grew up watching Red Skelton's television shows and loved him. Thank you for sharing this tribute to this many-faceted artist.

A perfect R-post!

Best wishes,
Anna

Anna's Rs

Anonymous said...

This has to be a record for you on the number of comments. Red Skelton really touched alot of people. People of a certain age have so many good memories of growing up in simpler times. No computers, internet, cell phones, video games, movies without special effects. Thanks for bringing back more memories of those times.

Jingle said...

very creepy and fun r post!
Happy Sunday!