Last week we posted this letter sent to us from Doug Preis of the Bergen Foundation. In this letter you can clearly read that Edgar Bergen gives all the credit for Charlie McCarthy to Theodore Mack (if you missed Unequivocal Proof Of Charlie McCarthy’s Maker click here).
We had some comments and Doug was kind enough to send in the following information as well:
Thanks Doug for sharing this with us.
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 2011 by Dan Willinger
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COOL! Thanks Dan & Doug. I’ve always sided with Bergen on this since reading where he said mack did the carving, in the naav’s memorial issue where they printed a copy of a 1938 article/bio which is a wonderful read. He is the one who had the work done & i’ve always felt he knew who did the work. Thanks. CASE CLOSED! :)
…my question and please do consider it as an inquiry rather than to oppose anyone or any letter, WHY would Mr Frank Marshall claim he made Charlie?
I don’t know for sure Wanlu, & i hope all will excuse me if i speak falsely here, but as far as i know, the first time there is any real “evidence” of him saying that, is on the recording in the archives here, which was made quite late in his life. So a better question might be, that if he HAD made charlie, why did it take him so many years to say so? Maybe he was just sick & tired of everyone asking & said yes just to shut them up. But, if Bergen says mack made charlie, then it’s good enough for me. It’s not like the one who “discovers the truth” will be awarded a grand prize anyway! LOL! :)
I guess I will chime in. It may well be the case that Frank Marshall worked on the figure while it was in the Mack shop but…. it is just that, the figure was made by the Macks. If you work for any business producing a product it is the companies product and not yours even though you may have had your hands on it. I must agree with the information that has been provided by an authority on Bergen. Frank Marshall did not make Charlie McCarthy the Mack’s shop made Charlie McCarthy.
I also forgot to say that Frank had an ego and once he was the owner of the shop, and made figures for some of the more well known ventriloquists, and the Macks were all dead, why not start to say he made Charlie the most famous of all ventriloquist figures. Other than Mr Bergen no one else could dispute the issue. But as I previously said, during the time Charlie was constructed, Frank was just a worker.
Yeah Dan, i WAS going to mention his having been, shall we say, strong headed, as i also had heard, but thought i’d be nice. thanks for chiming in with that & i thoroughly agree with you on all you said. Plus, in that letter, Bergen himself stated that he never met marshall until several years after Charlie was made. It’s well known that he went there to watch the macks work frequently, so i can’t believe that if frank was there all that time, that he never would have seen him in there. Take care & happy holidays all. :)
Thanks Bill and Dan :)
That makes sense!!! ;)
Charlie does not look like a Mack to me, the ones shown on History Detectives for example, or those at VentHaven and WIllinger collection. Marshall did Charlie, the only one who could have except Spencer, considering health of Theodore and son. If you were to look inside the head might even find a gouge place where true mark removed,, and a very young Marshall did Frank Byron, Jr. too.