Monday, July 28, 2008

Polack Bros. Circus #2

Scan10520, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Parley Baer or "Polly Bear" as Louie called him, handled the publicity, the art work, the press photos and the bios as seen above.
In private however, he referred to Pat as "The friendly, neighborhood wild man!".


Roger Smith said...

Kim took one look at this and said, "Oh, yes. Daddy designed it and wrote the bio."

For those new around here, Daddy was Parley Baer. His first circus job was writing publicity for Al. G. Barnes, in 1936. He was a top character actor, ringmaster, circus producer, and little though it may be known to many, he for a time worked 7 of Mabel Stark's tigers.

Roger Smith

Buckles said...

I saw the movie "Gypsy" the other night on TMC and there was Parley trying to evict Rosalind Russell and the kids out of the hotel room.

Anonymous said...

When he wasn't evicting Rosalind Russell from the Hotel, he was the Mayor of Mayberry!
Cindy Potter

Buckles said...

Yes he was but I always thought his best role was as a German Officer in the "Young Lions" and he agreed.
He was Marlon Brando's sidekick when they advanced into Paris.
He said they were actually on location in Paris for six weeks.
Cast included Dean Martin, Montgomery Clift and Maximilian Schell.
Once while we were at Ernie and Parley's home, I mentioned that movie and he regaled us with a lot of anecdotes.
My favorite concerned the Director who for some reason despised Lee Van Cleef.
They all shared breakfast at the Hotel before leaving for the set and one morning they were suddenly interrupted by hideous screams coming from upstairs.
Someone said "My God, what's going on?" and the Director calmly stated, "No doubt Mr. Van Cleef, attempting to urinate."

Roger Smith said...

While we're at it, Parley is one of those character actors for whom it can be said, "You could papers the walls of your house with his credits."

One of Parley's radio fans told him he lost count at over 15,000 Old Time Radio credits. Indeed, he created the role of Chester on the radio version of GUNSMOKE. When Ozzie and Harriett moved over to TV, he was next-door neighbor Darby for six years. He told me he had over 1,700 TV appearances and 150 feature films. Until his first stroke in 1997, he enjoyed the nugget all actors yearn for--a lucrative 32-year run on commercials, for Parley as the voice of Ernie Keebler, the cookie elf.

Kim and I took him to the SPERDVAC OTR convention in LA, where on November 1, 2002, he received a 5-minute standing ovation. He died three weeks later of a second stroke, on November 22.

Roger S.