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Red Skelton Biography

Birth Name:
Richard Bernard Skelton
Birth Place:
Vincennes, Indiana, United States
Actor, TV host, composer, comedian

Fast Facts

  • Was so poor as a child that he once sang for pennies on the streets of his Indiana home town
  • Quit school at 10 to join a traveling medicine show
  • Always ended his TV show---which ran for two decades---and his radio show by saying, "Good night and may God bless
  • " Had a bridge that spans the Wabash River between Indiana and Illinois named after him in 1963
  • His Freddie the Freeloader character adorns a U
  • S
  • stamp that was introduced in August 2009
  • Composed thousands of songs and more than 60 symphonies over the course of his career
  • Was a renowned oil painter of clowns and an expert at growing bonsai trees
  • Was a Shriner and a Freemason


  • 1965Emmy-Outstanding Individual Achievements in Entertainment: nominated
  • 1963Emmy-Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy: nominated
  • 1962Emmy-Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy: nominated
  • 1961Emmy-Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy: winner
  • 1957Emmy-Best Single Performance by an Actor: nominated


  • Paul Skelton -- Brother
  • Valentina Maris Alonzo -- Daughter
  • Edna Marie Stilwell -- Ex-wife
  • Georgia Davis -- Ex-wife
  • Joseph Skelton -- Father
  • Ida Mae Skelton -- Mother
  • Richard Freeman Skelton -- Son
  • Lothian Toland Skelton -- Wife