Bob Bell, an actor who played Bozo the Clown for 25 years on WGN-TV, died Dec. 8 in Lake San Marcos. He was 75.
Bell first portrayed Bozo the Clown in a 30-minute TV show in 1959, doing one-man sketches in circus paint, a fiery red wig and a flashy outfit. It went off the air in 1960 and returned the next year as “Bozo’s Circus.”
“This is a sad day in the history of Bozo,” said Larry Harmon, creator of the original television Bozo, who called Bell one of the best portrayers of Bozo in the character’s 50-year history.
Bell began his show business career before World War II, when he served as an extra in the movie “Arizona.”
After service in the Navy during the war, Bell began his broadcast career in his hometown of Flint, Mich. He later worked at stations in Indianapolis and Cincinnati before joining Chicago’s WGN in 1956.
Bell is survived by his wife, Carol, and four children.