Wednesday, October 29, 2008
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--in the new IHS Press biography Red Skelton: The Mask behind the Mask.
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.
Gehring is a professor of film at Ball State University. The award-winning author of twenty-eight books, Gehring has written biographies of such screen legends as Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, Irene Dunne, Carole Lombard, and James Dean.
Red Skelton: The Mask behind the Mask costs $19.95 in hardback and is available from the Society's Basile History Market. To order, call (800) 447-1830 or order online at the History Market.