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Clyde Beatty Circus


Clyde Beatty Circus

Clyde Beatty Circus aerial photograph
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Clyde Beatty Circus Girls 1953
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Clyde Beatty (June 10, 1903 - July 19, 1965) began his circus career working as a cage boy for Louis Roth, he learned his trade quickly and soon had his own animal act. Beatty's "fighting act" style and his showmanship propelled him to stardom.

Not only was Clyde a star of the center ring but he also starred in numerous movies, radio shows and his adventures were fictionalized in novels. The name "Clyde Beatty" became a very value asset to circus. The name was used on posters and painted on show equipment alongside the circus' name on whatever show he was working.

In 1935 Clyde Beatty was on Jess Adkins and Zack Terrell's "Cole Bros. Circus", Then in 1943 he worked for Art Concello on the "Clyde Beatty-Russell Bros. Circus".

During the winter of 1945 - 1945 Beatty purchased the Wallace Bros. Circus (a truck show), and in April of 1945 the "Clyde Beatty Circus" was opened. The show did very well on it's first season, so well in fact that Clyde decided to move from trucks to rails.

Clyde sold his "truck show" equipment to Floyd King and purchased controlling interest in Art Concello's 15 railroad car show the "Russell Bros. Pan Pacific Circus", which became the "Clyde Beatty Circus". In 1947 Beatty became sole owner of the show.

The circus was a large tented circus with a big menagerie and was a beautiful site on the lot. The circus showed mostly western states, usually opening in southern California.

During the 1950's at least two movies were filmed on the show, "Ring of Fear" (staring Clyde Beatty, Mickey Spillane and Pat O'Brien) and "3 Ring Circus" starring Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis,
Joanne Dru and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

In March of 1956 the circus opened in Burbank, CA., movie actor Duncan Renaldo (the "Cisco Kid") had been added to the show as a star attraction. The season's business was bad from the start and did not improve. On May 9th the Clyde Beatty Circus folded and returned to quarters.

Frank McClosky and Walter Kernan stepped in and bought the circus from Beatty, they reopened the show on August 29 in New Mexico and completed the remainder of the season. At the close of the season McClosky and Kernan moved the circus to Deland, Florida where they had purchased the Johnny J. Jones Shows (a railroad carnival), winter quarters for the show. The Deland winter quarters has been used continuously since and now is home of Johnny Pugh's "Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars".

In 1959 the circus' named was changed the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. Circus.

Beatty continued to be active with the show until his death in 1965.

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Clyde Beatty Circus Sideshow
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Clyde Beatty Circus Sideshow
George "Red" White manager
Clyde Beatty Circus Poster

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