Ventriloquist Stanley Burns, Frank Marshall and Charlie McCarthy


I love to sometimes stir up the pot and see what we get. Just mentioning Frank Marshall and Edgar Bergen’s, “Charlie McCarthy” does this. We of course all know he didn’t create Charlie (or do we???), but he did in fact make Figures using the Charlie McCarthy head design.

I was looking through some pictures that I have and found this wonderful picture of Stanley Burns, writer of Other Voices, and his figure made by Frank Marshall named “Willie.”

I think you can see clearly that this head is Charlie McCarthy with some additions like lowering eyebrows and crossing eyes. This is just a wonderful creation and proves Frank did in fact sell figures to others using the Charlie head.




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 2009 by Dan Willinger

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3 Responses to Ventriloquist Stanley Burns, Frank Marshall and Charlie McCarthy

  1. LeeDean says:

    Not only did Marshall work on the original Charlie, he also made the Katzenjammer replica for Lester, Byron. Charlie Mack figures have a distinctive narrow head non-Charlie look as shown by those in your collection. Byron’s tell-tale sign is the concave throat, which you call wedge design, probably the first of that specie, as shown in Berger’s Courier Journal magazine on Tribute site, although originally had kid leather over the wedge. Lester had said in the Burns article in Talking Comedy that he made Byron with a little help from old Theodore, but in in older Coronet article credited Marshall with all the figures from Mack shop. Look at death dates of both Theodore and Charlie Mack wihtin year or two of dummy Charlie and no way I say were they able to make McCarthy, this notwithstanding Bergen’s insistence on Mack being the creator probably because of Mack name and that’s who he thought did all the work. I knew Berger and he told me Marshall had a hand in it. Time affects memory, I recall Lester who met in 1955 and died in 1956, yet Berger writes me in 1964 when I was in Hollywood, Ca that I was not far from Lester’s studio and be sure and go by to see him. Look at Charlie Mack figures then the wide-headed Marshalls, and my opinion is same as Lester at time of Coronet article. When did Marshall start putting his name inside the head is a good question, probably after he bought out Mack.

  2. LeeDean says:

    Regarding the Marshall special eyebrows and windshield wiper eyes being unnatural. Watch Brian Williams on NBC Nighly News, look close when he raises his brows. He has them, the windshield wiper eyes.

  3. bill smith says:

    Bergen DID have a Charlie head with crossing eyes. I have a dvd of all but one of the Vitaphone shorts that Bergen did in the 30’s,& in one of them, Charlie crosses his eyes. In another, his eyes roll up into his head. Just thought I’d pass that info along. I have Mr. Burns’ book & it’s GREAT!! I met him at the testimonial to Senor Wences in 1989. A VERY nice man!

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