Here is a great little video that was sent into us. It features Paul Winchell on the old television show, What’s My Line. The guess is none other than figure maker, Frank Marshall.
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Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. His collection of ventriloquist figures now numbers over 100 figures of which there are over 50 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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wow, now that’s kinda weird that Paul did not know what Frank Marshall looked like even though Jerry is based on the Marshall nosey. Also for all vents out there, dummies are ‘puppets’ according to Frank Marshall. great video to actually hear and see Frank Marshall in motion.
Paul Winchell knew what Frank Marshall looked like; as Paul was even at Marshalls basement workshop at 5518 s Loomis in Chicago; I believe this was in the late 1930’s. Also, Frank was one of those people who never seemed to facially change much. Frank was always older appearing, although distinuished looking all the year I knew him.
Yes, Winchell knew Marshall. I remember 1955 Pittsburgh convention with Marshall, Lester and Berger how Marshall was bitter because Winchell had not given Marshall proper credit for the creation of Mahoney figure. I was 14 years old there helping Berger transport figures to and from convention, and there in a coffee shop listened to each of them, and like old saying little pitchers have big ears, heard enough to know that Marshall knew Winchell. On the Tribute site, almost all Mahoney figures are re-creations by Winchell. The one by Marshall is in the early 1930-1940 photos, the one with Mahoney on Winchell’s back. Marshall’s Jerry had finer brows and thinner lips, and Winchell’s Jerrry has wider brows and lips, even heavier lined eyes for an almost Egyptian look.
In 1958 or 1959 I was in Marshall’s 5518 S. Loomis Blvd. home and basement studio. First floor had newspapers everywhere, probably used in shipping a new figure, but studio was so clean, everything in its place, and on a side wall bench a new figure, the most beautiful Marshall figure I ever saw. I don’t know who he made it for, or if for anybody for that matter. He only said, I made it from a neighbor boy down the street. He was such a fine artist. I also remember being in his car, driving along, he pulled over, got out and raised hood, got back in and said something like that should fix it, so he knew a little or a lot about cars too.
Yesterday, I watched both of Bob Isaacson natural gas videos, and they are so very good, and Speedy Wheeler an excellent example of a Marshall.