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Bill Britten is an American actor best known for his portrayal of Bozo the Clown. He performed as a mimic and pantomimist for local parties in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, before enrolling in college. He studied clown makeup at Temple University, later attending the University of Washington in Seattle. He performed as a tramp clown for a gas station franchise and trained with two puppet theaters (one funded by the University of Washington, the other by the Seattle Parks Department).After graduating from Washington, he moved to New York City, where he worked nightclubs until he won "Funniest New Clown Of The Year" audition with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus; he performed with them in the spring of 1954, but stayed behind when they left the city.He made his first television appearance on WJZ TV's "Jolly Gene And His Fun Machine", where he provided puppeteering work and voice acting for the show's puppets: "Jolly Gene", "Yoo Hoo The Cuckoo" and "Waldo The Dodo". He also drew cartoons on the magic screen of "The Fun Machine". He stayed with the show from 1955 to 1956. He was the third host of "Time For Fun!" from December 31, 1956 to August 1, 1958, portraying "Johnny Jellybean".He then succeeded Herb Sheldon to become the third host of WABD's "Wonderama", starting on August 10, 1958. It was the first edition of the show to be taped before a live studio audience. He initially hosted the show as "Three Gun Willie The Kid", but the character proved unpopular and was dropped. He also hosted "The Looney Tunes Show", "Bugs Bunny Presents" and "Funnytoones" at the same station until his departure in late December 1958.On Monday September 14, 1959, he started with WPIX, he began to portray "Bozo the Clown" for "The Bozo Show", which he would do until March 1, 1963. On March 4, the series changed timeslots, and was renamed "Bozo's Big Top Circus", which played until June 2, 1963.During this period, he also hosted the Saturday morning cartoon show "The Cartoon Express", from October 13 to November 3 of 1962.His last show was "Bozo's Cartoon Circus Lunchtime Show", which began on June 24, 1963, and ran until August 14, 1964, which marked the end of his involvement with children's television.He worked as a programming director for WNYC, and as a drama teacher at the Performing Arts High School in New York City, as well as appearing on Broadway, most notably as the Barber in the original Broadway production of "Man of La Mancha", alongside Robert Rounsville and Richard Kiley. He also appeared in the movie "Fame" as a drama teacher. Wikipedia

Quick Facts

Birth date: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Profession:Actor, Soundtrack
Education:Temple University, University of Washington
Spouse:Mary Louise Jones

About Bill Britten:

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1Studied pupetry with two puppet theaters. One of the puppet theaters was sponsored by The University Of Washington in Seattle, Wa., where Mr.Britten was a student. He performed with these two puppet theaters and later on he took puppetry lessions with Mr. Frank Parris (The first head puppeteer/puppet maker) for "Puppet Playhouse Presents"/"Howdy Doody". Mr. Britten made his NYC TV debut as the second head puppeteer and cartoonist on "Jolly Gene & His Fun Machine" on WJZ TV Ch. 7 in NYC in l954. The show was seen weekday evenings on WJZ TV Ch. 7 in NYC from Monday September 21, 1953 to Friday February 25, 1955.
2Succeeded Herb Sheldon as the third host/performer of WABD TV Ch. 5 NYC's "Looney Tunes Show", which was seen Saturday nights on WABD TV in NYC From Saturday August 9, 1958 to Saturday August 30, 1958. Britten also became the second host/performer of WABD TV Ch.5 NYC's "Bugs Bunny Presents which went out weekday evenings on WABD TV in NYC from Monday August 4, 1958 to Wednesday May 2, 1959.
3Performed as a clown for a gas station franchise in Seattle, Wa, in l953. He later performed as "Prof. Oakey Doakey The Clown" with Ringing Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus at NYC's "Madison Square Garden" during the spring of 1954. Britten was also the third host/performer of WJZ/WABC TV Ch. 7 NYC's kids TV show "Time For Fun!" weekday afternoons from Monday December 31, 1956 to Friday August 1, 1958. Britten MC'd "Time For Fun!" as "Johnny Jellybean".



Square One Television1992TV SeriesFloyd Snerd
Mathnet1992TV SeriesFloyd Snerd
The Bill1989TV SeriesArea 2 Serial
Once Again1987TV MovieOrganist
Fame1980Mr. England
Bozo's Big Top Circus!1961TV SeriesBozo
Bozo's Cartoon Circus Lunchtime Show!1961TV SeriesBozo
Bozo the Clown1959/IITV SeriesBozo
Time for Fun1953TV SeriesJohnny Jellybean



Husbands1970performer: "Blood on the Saddle" 1930 - uncredited



Wonderama1955TV SeriesHimself - Co-host (1958)

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