Larry Harmon, longtime Bozo the Clown, dead at 83

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Larry Harmon, longtime Bozo the Clown, dead at 83

Postby TeMerc » Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:21 am

By JOHN ROGERS – 1 day ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Larry Harmon wasn't the original Bozo the Clown, but he was the real one. Harmon, who portrayed the wing-haired clown for more than half a century, died Thursday of congestive heart failure, said his publicist, Jerry Digney. He was 83.

As an entrepreneur, Harmon licensed the character to others, particularly dozens of television stations around the country. The stations in turn hired actors to be their local Bozos.

"Bozo is a combination of the wonderful wisdom of the adult and the childlike ways in all of us," Harmon told The Associated Press in a 1996 interview.

Pinto Colvig, who provided the voice for Walt Disney's Goofy, was the first Bozo the Clown, a character created by writer-producer Alan W. Livingston for a series of children's records in 1946. Livingston said he came up with the name Bozo after polling several people at Capitol Records.

Harmon would later meet his alter ego while answering a casting call to make personal appearances as a clown to promote the records.

He got that job and eventually bought the rights to Bozo. Along the way, he embellished Bozo's distinctive look: the orange-tufted hair, the bulbous nose, the outlandish red, white and blue costume.

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