Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Photo courtesy of Bertha Campisi

The beautiful classic whiteface and Earl Shipleyesque auguste of Roy Barrett.

Barrett, I am told, lost his standing within the professional circus clown community when he went way over the top in cruelly chiding Otto Griebling in the alley of a Shrine date about Otto's painful divorce from his first wife Hanna, who he still loved very much.

Otto took the high road and sat in silence as Barrett took great delight in mocking him.

The rest of the alley was so appalled by Barrett's behavior that they shunned him for the remainder of the Shrine date and he saw his circus bookings dwindle down to nothing as word of his unprovoked viciousness spread.

I never met Roy Barrett, so I have no first hand knowledge of him. It's unfair to judge his entire life and career by a single second hand account of one incident but that's the only story that I have on him. 

I'm eager to hear any other, better stories about Roy Barrett anyone out there might be willing to share.

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