Larry Harmon, who popularized Bozo the Clown through the new medium of television 50 years ago, died today of heart failure in his Los Angeles home. He was 83.
Harmon was not the original Bozo, who was created by Alan W. Livingston in 1946. Harmon exaggerated the original look, then donned the distinctive make-up, hair and suit for countless appearances as "Bozo, The World's Most Famous Clown." More important, however, he licensed the character to TV stations — which hired their own Bozos — and created a cartoon series.
"You might say, in a way, I was cloning BTC (Bozo the Clown) before anybody else out there got around to cloning DNA," Harmon told the Associated Press in a 1996 interview. "Bozo is a combination of the wonderful wisdom of the adult and the childlike ways in all of us."