Now Performing in the Rocky Top Theater
167 East Wears Valley Road Suite #17 (Shops of Pigeon Forge) Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
(July 18, 1913 - September 17, 1997)
Born in Vincennes, Indiana, Richard Bernard Skelton, son of a circus clown, was an American comedian who was best known as a top radio and television star from 1937 to 1971.
Skelton's show business career began in his teens as a circus clown and went on to vaudeville, Broadway, films, radio, TV, night clubs and casinos, all while silently pursuing another career as apainter.
Red Skelton got one of his earliest tastes of show business when he went to work for the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus as a teenager, the same circus his father worked for.
Red's father Joe Skelton, passed away in a tragic accident shortly before Red was born.
Red Skelton caught the show business bug at 10 years of age from entertainer Ed Wynn, who spotted him selling newspapers in front of the Pantheon Theatre, in Vincennes Indiania. After buying every newspaper Red had, Mr Wynn gave him a ticket and invited him to see the show.
While performing in Kansas City in 1931, Skelton married his first wife, Edna Stillwell, who was an usher at the theater. In 1943 their marriage ended in divorce but Edna Stillwell remained his manager.
In 1945 he married Georgia Davis. They had two children, Richard and Valentina. Richard died in May of 1958 when he was a small boy, from leukemia, which devastated the household.
Red and Georgia divorced in 1971 and he remarried. In 1976, Georgia committed suicide by gunshot. Deeply affected by the loss of his ex-wife, Red abstained from performing for the next decade and a half, finding solace in painting clowns.
"Goodnight now and may God bless"
Las Vegas Show Reviews