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Red Skelton: The Mask Behind the Mask

Red Skelton: The Mask Behind the Mask

Table of Contents

Foreward by Valentina Marie Skelton Alonso
Prologue – It All Started With Donuts

  1. The Early Years
  2. Clarence Stout and Other Early Skelton Mentors
  3. First Wife Mentor: Edna Stillwell Skelton
  4. Early Star Status: Memorable 1937
  5. Roller Coaster Years: 1938-40
  6. Major Stardom: Movies, Radio, and a Touch of “Hope”
  7. War Year Complexities: Radio and Redefining Red’s Relationship with Edna
  8. War Year Complexities: Movies, Military, and Marriage
  9. Resuming a Film Career: the Buster Keaton Factor
  10. A Small-Screen Chaplin Wannabe and the Two Mrs. Skeltons
  11. Racking Up the Pressure
  12. Triumph and Tragedy in the 1950s
  13. The Skeltons in Palm Springs: Paradise or Prison?
  14. The Last Act

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Book description of  Red Skelton: The Mask Behind the Mask

For twenty years, Hoosier comic Red Skelton entertained millions of viewers who gathered around their television sets to delight in the antics of such notable characters as Freddie the Freeloader, Clem Kaddiddlehopper, Cauliflower McPugg, and Sheriff Deadeye. Noted film historian Wes D. Gehring examines the man behind the characters–someone who never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Gehring delves into Skelton’s hardscrabble life with a shockingly dysfunctional family in the southern Indiana community of Vincennes, his days on the road on the vaudeville circuit, the comedian’s early success on radio, his up-and-down movie career with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and his sometimes tragic personal life.