Red Skelton

Actor, Composer, Singer
A vaudeville and burlesque performer who worked his way up from the bottom of the rung clubs and show boats to play the Paramount Theatre in NYC, Red Skelton entered films in 1938 and went on to appear in some two dozen ... Read more »
Born: 07/17/1913 in Vincennes, Indiana, USA

Filmography

Actor (56)

Pioneers of Television 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Inside the Dream Factory 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The First Annual Comedy Hall of Fame 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The 3rd Annual American Comedy Awards 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The Television Academy Hall of Fame 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The Television Academy Hall of Fame 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Entertaining the Troops 1987 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The 38th Annual Emmy Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Red Skelton: a Royal Performance 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Funny Faces 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Red Skelton's Christmas Dinner 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Red Skelton's Funny Faces 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Sinatra -- The First 40 Years 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

General Electric's All-Star Anniversary 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Bob Hope Special: Happy Birthday, Bob! 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Swing Out, Sweet Land 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Jack Benny's 20th Anniversary TV Special 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

The Red Skelton Show 1951 - 1971 (Tv Show)

Actor

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines 1965 (Movie)

Neanderthal Man (Actor)

The Red Skelton Timex Special 1960 - 1961 (TV Show)

Actor

Ocean's Eleven 1960 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Red Skelton Chevy Special 1959 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

Public Pigeon No. 1 1957 (Movie)

Rusty Morgan (Actor)

Around the World in 80 Days 1956 (Movie)

Drunk (Actor)

The Red Skelton Revue 1953 - 1954 (TV Show)

Actor

The Great Diamond Robbery 1953 (Movie)

Ambrose C Park (Actor)

The Clown 1952 (Movie)

Dodo Delwyn (Actor)

Lovely to Look At 1951 (Movie)

Al Marsh (Actor)

Texas Carnival 1951 (Movie)

(Actor)

Watch the Birdie 1951 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Southern Yankee (Movie)

Aubrey Filmore (Actor)

Bathing Beauty (Movie)

Steve Elliott (Actor)

Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day (Movie)

Vernon Briggs (Actor)

Du Barry Was a Lady (Movie)

Louis Blore/King Louis (Actor)

Excuse My Dust (Movie)

Joe Belden (Actor)

Flight Command (Movie)

Lt. "Mugger" Martin (Actor)

Half a Hero (Movie)

Ben Dobson (Actor)

Having Wonderful Time (Movie)

Itchy Faulkner (Actor)

I Dood It (Movie)

Joseph Rivington Reynolds (Actor)

Lady Be Good (Movie)

Joe "Red" Willet (Actor)

Maisie Gets Her Man (Movie)

Hap Hixby (Actor)

Merton of the Movies (Movie)

Merton Gill (Actor)

Neptune's Daughter (Movie)

Jack Spratt (Actor)

Panama Hattie (Movie)

Red (Actor)

Rudolph's Shiny New Year (TV Show)

Voice

Ship Ahoy (Movie)

Merton K. Kibble (Actor)

The Fuller Brush Girl (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Fuller Brush Man (Movie)

Red Jones (Actor)

The Show-Off (Movie)

Aubrey Piper (Actor)

Thousands Cheer (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Three Little Words (Movie)

Harry Ruby (Actor)

Whistling in Brooklyn (Movie)

Wally Benton (Actor)

Whistling in Dixie (Movie)

Wally Benton (Actor)

Whistling in the Dark (Movie)

Wally Benton (Actor)

Ziegfeld Follies (Movie)

Announcer/J. Newton Numbskull (Actor)

Biography

A vaudeville and burlesque performer who worked his way up from the bottom of the rung clubs and show boats to play the Paramount Theatre in NYC, Red Skelton entered films in 1938 and went on to appear in some two dozen musicals and comedies through the 1940s, mostly for MGM. Skelton, who had his own radio show from 1941-53, embraced TV in 1950 and gained his greatest fame there, showcasing his gift for pantomime and his memorable characterizations, such as Freddy the Freeloader, on the long-running "The Red Skelton Show" which ran on NBC from 1951-53, then on CBS from 1953-70, and finally on NBC for its last year 1970-71.

Relationships

Valentina Alonso

Daughter
born in 1947 mother, Georgia Skelton survived him

Georgia Davis

Wife
married in 1945 divorced in 1971 mother of Skelton's two children wounded herself in 1966 in accidental shooting committed suicide in May 1976 on the anniversary of her son's death

Muriel Morris

Companion
became engaged in 1943 she ended the relationship in April 1944 because of his relationship with his first wife

Joseph Skelton

Father
died in May 1913

Ida Skelton

Mother

Richard Skelton

Son
born in 1948 died of leukemia in May 1958 mother, Georgia Skelton

Edna Stillwell

Wife
born c. 1906 married in June 1931 divorced in 1943 she remained an advisor on his career after their marriage ended

Lothian Toland

Wife
married from 1973 until his death daughter of cinematographer Gregg Toland

EDUCATION

dropped out of school after the seventh grade

Milestones

1981

Made pay TV debut in "Freddy the Freeloader's Christmas Dinner" (HBO)

1965

Final feature, "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machine"

1952

Had rare dramatic role in "The Clown"

1949

Reteamed with Esther Williams in "Neptune's Daughter"; sang Oscar-winning song "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

1948

Had title role in the screen comedy "The Fuller Brush Man"

1943

Inducted in the US Army as a private

1943

First starred opposite Esther Williams in "Bathing Beauty"

1942

Starred in "I Dood It"

1940

Had own radio show, "Red Skelton's Scrapbook of Satire"

1940

Achieved star status in "Whistling in the Dark"

1938

Made feature film debut in a small role in the Ginger Rogers vehicle, "Having Wonderful Time"

1937

Made radio debut on Rudy Vallee's show

1923

Joined traveling medicine show at age 10

Worked his way up from small-time comic to the Paramount Theatre in NYC

Had an over 20-year run as star of variety shows on NBC and CBS

Reportedly suffered a nervous breakdown while stationed in Italy; remained in the Army as an entertainer

Initially signed to co-star with Jack Benny in the feature version of Neil Simon's "The Sunshine Boys"; withdrew over salary dispute

Put under contract at MGM

Bonus Trivia

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"I just want to be known as a clown because to me that's the height of my profession. It means you can do everything--Sing, dance, and above all, make people laugh." --Red Skelton

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Inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1988

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Skelton is also an accomplished painter whose works have sold for as much as $80,000.

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Skelton founded the Red Skelton Needy Childrens Fund and was its president.

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