From Dominique Jando on Circopedia:
A popular figure in the European circus ring for twenty years, the clown and ropedancer Walter Galetti was born January 29, 1931 in Thayngent, in the canton of Schaffhausen in Switzerland. He was originally trained as a brick mason, but that was not the life he really wanted: At age twenty-one, he “ran away and joined the circus”—in his case, Switzerland’s premier circus, Circus Knie, where he found a job as an animal keeper.
His ambition, however, was to perform in the ring, and during his spare time, he trained on the bouncing rope. It was perhaps a little late for Walter to become a strong acrobat, but he had a cheerful nature, and he began to work as a clown. The very colorful costume and makeup he eventually developed would become as iconic as those of Lou Jacobs or Paul Jung, and the face of Galetti, the clown, would eventually grace anonymously many a circus poster!
In 1966, together with his wife Mary (who, like him, didn’t come from a circus family), Galetti developed a charming act, The Clown And The Ballerina, which was soon noticed by circus directors and agents. Thus Galetti (as he was billed, without first name) started a brilliant career that lasted two decades. He went on to work in practically every major European circus, and appeared many times on television shows.
Galetti retired from the circus ring in 1986, but his performing career was not over. He settled in his wife’s hometown, Rankweil, in Austria, and developed a puppet show for children, which he still performs to this day (2013). In 2005, he published his autobiography, Ein Clown geht um die Welt. Walter and Mary Galetti have three children, Carmen, Maria, and Marco.