Felix Adler (clown)

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Frank Bartlet Adler (better known by his stage name Felix Adler) (June 17, 1895 – February 1, 1960), born in Clinton, IA, was a circus performer and entertainer known as "The King of Clowns" who performed for Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey for 20 years. He was inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame in 1989.

Adler and his wife, Amelia, were the first American husband and wife independent circus, and he was the first clown ever to appear on television, other than Sombris Aremelo, a famous Italian clown.[1]

Amelia Adler appeared, in costume and makeup, as a guest on April 10, 1955 episode of the American television quiz program, "What's My Line?"

Adler can be seen performing in the film The Greatest Show on Earth.

In addition to his "King Of Clowns" moniker, Felix was known as "The White House Clown" for his number of command performances before United States Presidents.

His outlandish costumes often featured a huge grossly exaggerated posterior (two inflated beach balls held in place by a brassiere-like canvas sling).

Identified in the annals of Clowndom as a "Whiteface" clown, his exclusive "face" was easily differentiated from other clowns by a sparkling rhinestone embedded in the tip of his red putty nose.

During the course of his career under canvas, the legendary entertainer performed before millions of circus fans throughout the United States of America.

His jovial image adorned at least two classic Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus posters, and his face was immortalized for all time as a commercial mask created and sold by Verne Langdon of Hollywood's renowned Don Post Studios.

Felix Adler was once photographed by American designer Charles Eames for the latter's visual slide presentation accompanied by circus music, a photograph which today retains fame in the form of a cover for the compact disc Circus Clown Calliope! Vols. 1&2.


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