Famous Ventriloquist of the Past


It is always fun to put up pictures of famous ventriloquists of the past. Can you guess who this ventriloquist happens to be AND also the name of his sidekick?




Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com

Copyright 2009 by Dan Willinger

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16 Responses to Famous Ventriloquist of the Past

  1. Bob Isaacson says:

    Isn’t that Chris Cross & “Louie” Figure is now at Vent Haven

  2. Robert Anthony says:

    This is just a guess, a young Senor Wences perhaps? As for the figure, could it be an early incarnation of Pedro?

  3. Philip Grecian says:

    Looks like, maybe, Chris Cross…?

    • David Cuthbert says:

      I am David Cuthbert, Phil D’Rey’s son by his fifth wife (we think!), Mildred.
      I live in New Orleans, where Phil spent most of the last 25 years of his life.
      I was an arts reporter for 543 years at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans.
      Would love to hear from you.

      • ken meaux says:

        David, sorry for getting back so late. I am not computer savvy and just happened to check back nostalgically and saw your comment request for info re: your father Phil D’rey. In 1958 he was booked in Abbeville Louisiana to play the dairy festival, so was I . I was only 18 at the time and went to the St. Joseph Motel where you and Phil were staying “This is my son David” he said, you were watching the little rascals on the tv in the room. I drove the car to as close as we could get to the outdoor setup in front of the court house. We had to park due to large crowds and walk to our show spot I carried that 100 pound drunk dummy on my back and he carried the head in a “chamois?” rag. What a BIZARRE sight that was in 1958..walking down the sidewalk with a “body” the other time I met him was when he was living on “peningston??” street in New Orleans and also with Bess Grunman an agent…well a few words from my memory bank hope this helps. I never check these sights so if you want to comment maybe send it to my email

      • tony curran says:

        hey david tony here back on line been tryin to contact u to no avail my e mail address is tonydart@htmail.co.uk

      • ken meaux says:

        I knew and worked with Phil D’ray in 1959

  4. LeeDean says:

    No, it is Criss Cross, who ended up in KY I think, but sidekick unknown.

  5. Terry Curran says:

    I’d love to see Phil D’Rey. I know he had a gorilla “sidekick” and also another called “Drunken Hynes”. I never knew him, but Phil (David was his real name) was my Granda. He seems to have been what we Irish call “some operator”!

  6. ken meaux says:

    I performed with phil d’rey in 1958

  7. Kermit Vermillion Cuthbert Douse says:

    Just saw your comment about working with Phil D’Rey. Phil’s real name was David Cuthbert Sr, and was my father. I would be very interested in hearing any stories you may have about a man I barely knew. I was named after Kermit Dart and Irene Vermillion, a husband and wife Band/Dance duo from the Vaudeville era. Any info on them would also be appreciated.

    • tony curran says:

      he was also my granda as i am terry’s brother wud love to hear from any of his sons my email address is tonydart@hotmail.co.uk

    • S. M. says:

      Kermit Dart was my great uncle. He died before I met him, but I very much remember Irene. What a hoot she was! But I know from my grandmother, Martha Dart (Kermit’s sister and one of the Dart Trumpeteers), that Irene was quite the task master to work under. They all toured Australia in the 1930s, and after that, my grandmother quit. In the 40s, Kermit and Irene ran some
      kind of boarding house in Hollywood for vaudevillians and B actors. They adopted two children. Late in life, Irene had a bit part on the show Maude. I’m not sure what episode. She comes in for an audition in a talent show or something and does cartwheels, but Maude is distracted snd Irene has to keep doing them again. I think Irene really wanted to make it in Hollywood and she worked hard, but there were hundreds of starlets and she never got beyond the exhausting vaudeville circuit.

  8. jim cuthbert says:

    I think phil d’rey aka David cuthbert was my grandads brother , family history tells a great story

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