More About Rita Winchell

rita winchell promo

I am happy to give some details to you about Rita Winchell. She is the younger sister of Paul Winchell. She did ventriloquism for the first 20 or so years of her life and was very accomplished but once she got married her performing career changed.

Thanks to Nancy Olsen and Jeffrey Barr who are two of Rita’s children that gave us pictures and information about Rita, we have created a page in our “Tribute to Ventriloquism” section of Ventriloquist Central just for her.

Click here to see more about Rita Winchell



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:

Copyright 2011 by Dan Willinger

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5 Responses to More About Rita Winchell

  1. bob isaacson says:

    Wonderful story & photos about the life of Rita Winchell & Harry Mahoney. Special thanks to Rita’s family for sharing with the Vent Community.

  2. Bob Conrad says:

    Very interesting Dan, thanks for posting this.

  3. Kevin S. Butler says:

    This is interesting..I didn’t know that Paul’s sister:Ms.Rita Winchell was
    a talented ventriloquist? The only other member of Paul’s family..who
    could do ventriloquisim that I know Of? Is his daughter:Stephanie..her
    talent is mentioned in Paul’s book”The Key To Ventriloquisim”(later on
    the book was retitled:”Ventriloquisim For Fun & Profit”).

    • Nancy Olsen says:

      I’m Rita Winchell’s daughter, Nancy. Paul’s daughter April Winchell is a talented voiceover actress and has followed in her dad’s footsteps working for Disney. She’s currently the voice of Clarabell on the Mickeymouse clubhouse series, among other things. So, the Winchell legacy lives on…

  4. Paul W. Wilson says:

    Very interesting, thank you for posting this! I am a huge fan of Rita Winchell and Harry Mahoney. One of my best memories of my childhood is when as a Cub Scout in 1965 or 1966 I had the privilege of watching them perform for our Cub Scout Pack 148 in Santa Clara, California. I got to sit and visit after the show and left with an autographed black & white glossy of them sipping straws together. Rita Winchell wrote on the photo: ” To Paul, Best wishes always to a great cub scout. Rita Winchell. Me too!! Harry Mahoney.” She wrote the R’s and N’s in HARRY MAHONEY backwards. I still have this wonderful keepsake framed and on my front room wall. I will always cherish it and the fond childhood memories.

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