I am looking for information on Frank and Anna Cunliffe from Chicago, Illinois. Frank Cunliffe was known as Billy Bouncer and traveled with the Flying Fishers and Ringling Brothers. I have pictures of Frank in his clown outfit (all white) and would love to find out information on his role with the circus. We do know that his wife Anna introduced him at the shows. Thank you, Pam Looney,
Would this be Billy Bouncer the India Rubber Clown/Billy Bouncer the Trampoline King Clown we are talking about? He might have travelled with Ringlings at some point,this would then have to be before he went solo (to coincide with the Fishers) but from the 1910?s until approx 1924 there was ‘The Billy Bouncer Circus’ which was a vaudeville show in a circus tent stageset, starring ‘Billy Bouncer, famous Circus Clown.’ The act was that a speaker invited audience members to the stage in a jumping competition on a big trampoline and to show their best at leaps and bounds. Then Billy would bound into the middle of them, soon sending them back to their seats, bouncing off the trampoline, walls, ceiling, etc. This Billy Bouncer indeed wore a white costume, with sort of blooming frilly shorts over a body suit kind of thing, probably with hidden padding! If this is the same clown you mean I can send you some newspaper announcements and things in pdf.
Frank Cunliffe/Billy Bouncer was my great uncle. I have pictures of him in clown make-up and without his make-up. I also have an old scrapbook that I think his wife did. He also was with the “Flying Fishers,” which I have a picture of. If you are interested, please contact me.
Please login first to submit.