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I am seeking information on James Leo Duffy who spent most of his life as a clown in trick rider in various circuses. Here is what I know about his life: He started in the circus business about 1900. James left his home town of New Castle, Lawrence County, PA with the famous “Diamond Brothers” (they were musicians and performers) to make a name for themselves in vaudeville and the circus. James was an acrobat during his vaudeville days. He joined P.T. Barnum’s circus (date unknown) and became a trick rider. James also doubled as a clown and trained dogs. He also trained a goose to follow him during circus parades. At one point in his career, James joined the Robinson’s Circus. I have a photograph of him in front of a Robinson’s wagon. In 1918, James was thrown by his horse during a performance and spent a year in a hospital. His days as a trick rider ended. Once he got out of the hospital, he played bit parts in silent movies. James and his trained goose had a movie role in a Mary Miles Minter film. The film may have been “The Little Clown” (1921)? James Duffy died in 1940 after suffering a fractured skull, hip injuries and lacerations. James was driving a horse-drawn wagon through the streets of Youngstown, Mahoning County, OH when the accident occured. He was advertising for “Bud the Tailor”. His horse ran away and threw James to the curb. He later developed pneumonia and died in Youngstown Hospital. All of this info came from his obit. I would like to find out more about his career in the circus and movies. Where can I find info on him? Where can I find a company that sells Mary Miles Minter films (need VHS movies)? I can not seem to find anywhere on the internet that sells the movie, “The Little Clown”. I would like to purchase it, because it may have James and his goose in the film. Thanks for any help you may be able to give me.

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You may already know this: a Google search turned up http://www.classicimages.com/1997/july97/minter.html, “Surviving Films of Mary Miles Minter, The Little Clown (1921-Paramount Realart). Good condition. Preserved in 16mm and 35mm. Library of Congress.

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