Back in the vaudeville days one of the more famous ventriloquists was Walter Walters. He was married to Emily Carlin and they had a son named Walter Walter Jr his real name was Walter Olsen Jr. He too became a ventriloquist and worked the vaudeville circuit with his two Frank Marshall figures named Mary Lou and Woody.
The figures have had a few owners over the past few decades and I can trace them back to Captain Dick of the Dummy Depot in Seattle Washington which is no longer. At that time the figures were repainted by Ray Guyll.
Captain Dick did in fact sell them but the name of that buyer I have not been able to find out. Somewhere after that around 1995 Woody was redone again and remained unfortunately not like a Marshall job. Mary Lou still has the paint from Ray Guyll.
I took it upon myself to re do Woody so that he again was the way Frank Marshall would have painted him and I also fixed his chop stick levers. The previous restorer actually put the wig on backwards and tried to make it fit but it was just wrong and was also black and Woody had red hair.
The other thing that is nice is that the original stand used by Walter is still with the pair of figures.
Ventriloquist Central is the brainchild of Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst. Dan 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. Steve is a ventriloquist as well as builder of ventriloquist figures. He also has a background in sales, marketing, building websites and computers. Because they both love the art of ventriloquism, the website Ventriloquist Central was born. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Copyright 2013 by Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst
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