Art Brokerage: Red Skelton American Clown artist and entertainer: b. 1913-1997. Richard Bernard "Red" Skelton (July 18, 1913 – September 17, 1997) was an American entertainer best known for his national radio and television acts between 1937 and 1971 and as host of the television program The Red Skelton Show. Skelton, who has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio and television, also appeared in vaudeville, films, nightclubs, and casinos, all while he pursued an entirely separate career as an artist. Skelton's artwork of clowns remained a hobby until 1964, when his wife, Georgia, convinced him to have a showing of his work at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas while he was performing there. Sales of his originals were successful and Skelton also sold prints and lithographs of them, earning $2.5 million yearly on lithograph sales. At the time of his death, his art dealer believed that Skelton had earned more money through his paintings than from his television work. Born July 18, 1913, in Vincennes, Indiana, Richard Skelton was the fourth son of Ida Mae (née Fields) and Joseph E. Skelton. Joseph, a grocer, died two months before his last child was born; he had once been a clown with the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. In Skelton's lifetime there was some dispute about the year of his birth. Author Wesley Hyatt suggests that since he began working at such an early age, he may have had to say he was older than he actually was in order to work. Vincennes neighbors described the Skelton family as being extremely poor; a childhood friend remembered that her parents broke up a youthful romance between her sister and Skelton, because he was thought to have no future. Because of the loss of his father, Skelton went to work at the age of seven, selling newspapers and doing other odd jobs to help his family, who had lost both the family store and home. He quickly learned the newsboy's patter and would keep it up until a prospective buyer bought a copy of the paper just to quiet him. In 1923, a man came up to the newsboy, purchased every paper he had and asked him if he wanted to see the show in town, giving him a ticket. The man, comedian Ed Wynn, was part of the show and later took the boy backstage. Skelton, who had already shown comedic tendencies, then realized what he wanted to do with his life. He discovered at an early age that he could make people laugh. At the age of ten, Skelton auditioned to be part of a medicine show and was hired by "Doc" Lewis as an errand boy who sold bottles of medicine to the audience during the show. When he accidentally fell from the stage, breaking bottles of medicine as he fell, people laughed. Both Lewis and Skelton realized one could earn a living with this ability and the fall was worked into the show. He also told jokes and sang in the medicine show during his four years there. The pay was ten dollars a week and he sent all of it home weekly to his mother telling her, "We get plenty to eat, and we sleep in the wagon." The Red Skelton Museum opened 2013. Art Brokerage no longer lists limited edition prints by Red Skelton, but we are accepting listings for original paintings. If you are a seller and in need of an appraisal. Dr. William Mett of Art Corporation of America is the world expert.