He is best remembered for taking on the persona of circus clowns in traditional makeup -a role that may have come naturally to Skelton, since his father, who died shortly before his birth, had worked as a clown for the Hagenbeck & Wallace Circus. His best-known clown persona was Freddy the Freeloader, who had traditional tramp clown makeup. Another popular character was goofy Clem Kadiddlehopper.
Near the end of his life, Skelton said his daily routine included writing a short story a day and composing a piece of music a day (which he would then sell to providers of background music such as Muzak).
One of America's best loved comedians, Red Skelton is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, in Glendale, California.
Red Skelton Facts
|Richard Bernard Skelton
|July 18, 1913
|Vincennes, Indiana, USA
|Date of death
|September 17, 1997 (age 84)
|1988 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Life Achievement Award
|1978 Golden Globe Awards: Cecil B. DeMille Award
|Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines
|Legends of Country Comedy
|Red Skelton Whistling Collection
|Red Skelton Bloopers: Blunders & Ad-Libs
|The Red Skelton Hour: 11 DVD collection of Red Skelton Movies and TV Shows by Time Life
|Rudolph's Shiny New Year
|Three Little Words