List Photo:  Stephen King, IT!

TRENDING List of Famous Clowns

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This list of famous clowns includes photos, bios, and other information, when available. Who are the top clowns in the world? While most clowns don't intend to scare, these reasons why kids hate clowns might bring back some childhood fears. This list includes the most prominent clowns, living and dead, both from America and abroad. This list of notable clowns and clown names is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these popular clowns were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but they're all regarded as famous clowns in history and today.

No clown names list would be complete without the likes of Willard Scott, Red Skelton, Bill Irwin, and more. Did you know serial killer John Wayne Gacy had a career as a clown as well? Famous circus clowns, famous TV clowns, and others are full of surprises.

From reputable, prominent, old, and well known clowns to funny clown names you might not have heard of, these are some of the funniest famous clown names int the business. You'll even find a few female clown names on this list! So, who are the most famous clowns ever? What are the names of famous clowns? This list has them all, with French, Italian, and other world famous clowns for your amusement.

Bill Irwin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Clowns
Photo: pennstatenews/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

William Mills "Bill" Irwin is an American actor, clown, and comedian. He is best known for his vaudeville-style stage performances and has been noted for his contribution to the renaissance of American circus during the 1970s. He has also made a number of appearances on film and television, and he ...more

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Age: 67

Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, USA

Profession: Theatre Director, Screenwriter, Choreographer, Actor Clown, + more

Credits: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Interstellar, Across the Universe, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas Eight Men Out, + more

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John Wayne Gacy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Clowns
Photo: Freebase/Fair use

John Wayne Gacy, Jr., also known as the Killer Clown, was an American serial killer and rapist who was convicted of the sexual assault and murder of a minimum of 33 teenage boys and young men in a series of killings committed between 1972 and 1978 in Chicago, Illinois. All of Gacy's known murders ...more

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Age: Died at 52 (1942-1994)

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Profession: Clown

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Emmett Kelly is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Clowns
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Emmett Leo Kelly was an American circus performer, who created the memorable clown figure "Weary Willie", based on the hobos of the Depression era. ...more

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Age: Died at 81 (1898-1979)

Birthplace: Sedan, Kansas, United States of America

Profession: Actor, Clown

Credits: The Greatest Show on Earth, Wind Across the Everglades

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Red Skelton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Clowns
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Richard Bernard "Red" Skelton was an American entertainer best known for his national radio and television acts between 1937 and 1971 and as host of the television program The Red Skelton Show. Skelton, who has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio and television, also appeared ...more

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Age: Died at 84 (1913-1997)

Birthplace: USA, Vincennes, Indiana

Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Screenwriter, Radio personality Actor, + more

Credits: Rudolph's Shiny New Year, Around the World in 80 Days, The Red Skelton Show, Ocean's 11 Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, + more

Also Ranked

#88 on The Funniest People of All Time

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Soupy Sales is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Clowns
Photo: Freebase/GNU Free Documentation License

Soupy Sales was an American comedian, actor, radio-TV personality and host, and jazz aficionado. He was best known for his local and network children's television show, Lunch with Soupy Sales; a series of comedy sketches frequently ending with Sales receiving a pie in the face, which became his ...more

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Age: Died at 83 (1926-2009)

Birthplace: Franklinton, North Carolina, United States of America

Profession: Comedian, Actor, Presenter

Credits: Holy Man, The Making of '...And God Spoke', Angels with Angles, Black Scorpion Returns Birds Do It, + more

Also Ranked

#36 on The Funniest Comedians on the Howard Stern Show

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Grock is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Clowns
Photo: Wiki Commons


Grock, born Charles Adrien Wettach, was a Swiss clown, composer and musician. Called "the king of clowns" and "the greatest of Europe's clowns", Grock was once the most highly paid entertainer in the world. ...more

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Age: Died at 79 (1880-1959)

Birthplace: Loveresse, Switzerland

Profession: Clown

Credits: Goodbye Mr. Grock

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Bob Keeshan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Clowns
Photo: Freebase/GNU Free Documentation License

Robert James "Bob" Keeshan was an American television producer and actor. He is most notable as the title character of the children's television program Captain Kangaroo, which became an icon for millions of people during its 30-year run from 1955 to 1984. Keeshan also played the original "Clarabell ...more

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Age: Died at 77 (1927-2004)

Birthplace: Lynbrook, New York, USA

Profession: Television producer, Actor

Credits: Captain Kangaroo, The Stupids, Howdy Doody, CBS Storybreak

Also Ranked

#83 on The Most Beloved US Veterans

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Joseph Grimaldi is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Clowns
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Joseph Grimaldi

Joseph Grimaldi was an English actor, comedian and dancer, who became the most popular English entertainer of the Regency era. In the early 1800s, he expanded the role of Clown in the harlequinade that formed part of British pantomimes, notably at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and the Sadler's Wells ...more

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Age: Died at 59 (1778-1837)

Birthplace: London, United Kingdom

Profession: Clown

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