Bill Britten, Army vet and actor who played Bozo the Clown, dies

By NELSON OLIVEIRA | New York Daily News | Published: February 17, 2020

(Tribune News Service) — Actor Bill Britten, known for playing Bozo the Clown and Johnny Jellybean several decades ago, died earlier this month, according to an online obituary.

The Army veteran and longtime teacher, who was born in 1928, was one of several actors to portray the beloved clown on television shows. He played the role on the “Bozo Show” for WPIX in the 1960, the New York station reported on Sunday.

Britten also played Johnny Jellybean on the children’s TV show “Time for Fun” before teaching at Manhattan’s Performing Arts High School.

“I remember the Jellybeaner song and him being squirted in the face while trying to drink from a water fountain,” one of his viewers, John Glowa, wrote in Britten’s obituary. “Those were much simpler and more innocent times. Mr. Britten was an important part of my early childhood. Thank you for the memories.”

“Thank you for touching the lives of so many of us as a performer, teacher, director and friend,” former student Al Rodrigo wrote. “You will always be a big part of my wonderful memories of Performing Arts High School.”

Britten, born in Philadelphia, began his career performing at children’s events at Temple University and producing shows for Special Services while serving in the military, according to the obit. He later earned a master’s degree in performing arts from University of Washington in Seattle.

His other credits include a role in the Broadway show “Man from La Mancha” and the 1980 film “Fame.”

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