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Emmett Kelly
Biographical Information

Birth Date:December 9, 1898
Astrology Sign:Sagittarius
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Emmett Kelly

Biography:Emmett Kelly (December 9, 1898 - March 28, 1979), a native of Sedan, Kansas, was an American circus performer, who created the memorable clown figure "Weary Willie," based on the hobos of the Depression era. Kelly began his career as a trapeze artist. By 1923, Emmett Kelly was working his trapeze act with John Robinson's circus when he met and married Eva Moore, another circus trapeze artist. They later performed together as the "Aerial Kellys" with Emmett still performing occasionally as a white face clown.

He only started working as a clown full-time in 1931, and it was only after years of attempting to persuade the management that he was able to switch from a white face clown to the hobo clown that he had sketched ten years earlier while working at an art firm. "Weary Willie" was a tragic figure: a clown, who could usually be seen sweeping up the circus rings after the other performers. He tried but failed to sweep up the pool of light up a spotlight. His routine was revolutionary at the time: traditionally, clowns wore white face and performed slapstick stunts intended to make people laugh. Kelly did perform stunts too—one of his most famous acts was trying to crack a peanut with a sledgehammer—but as a tramp, he also appealed to the sympathy of his audience.

From 1942-1956 Kelly performed with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, where he was a major attraction, though he took the 1956 season off to perform as the mascot for the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team. He also landed a number of Broadway and film roles, including Federico Fellini's I Clowns, and the role of "Willie" in Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth (1952). Furthermore, he also appeared in the Bertram Mills Circus.

His son, Emmett Kelly, Jr., also did a similar "Weary Willie" character; the two were reputedly estranged for many years, partially as a result. Kelly, Jr. claimed that his version of Willie was "less sad", but they seemed quite similar to most observers.

Emmett Kelly Sr. died at the age of 80 of a heart attack on March 28, 1979, at his home in Sarasota, Florida. Emmett Kelly is buried in the Rest Haven Memorial Park, in Lafayette, Indiana.

The Emmett Kelly Museum is located in Sedan, Kansas.

Personality and Character Cards:
Numerology is used to calculate tarot cards

Emmett Kelly's Personality Tarot Card Justice - Personality Card

Birthday: December 9, 1898

Balance, wisdom and a need for rational, logical solutions.

Emmett Kelly's Character Tarot Card The High Priestess - Character Card

Birthday: December 9, 1898

Wisdom, secrets to be revealed, and the development of intuition.

This year's Growth Tarot Card
Based on this year's birthday

Emmett Kelly's Growth Tarot Card The Wheel of Fortune

Birthday: December 9, 2023

A new chapter is starting; problems are solved through changes in circumstances.




Portions of famous people database was used with permission from Russell Grant from his book The Book of Birthdays Copyright © 1999, All rights reserved. Certain biographical material and photos licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, from Wikipedia®, which is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

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