Puppeteer – Pat Patterson.
From Alan Cook, part of the online archives of the Email Discussion List PuptCrit:
On page 453 of Paul McPharlin’s PUPPET THEATRE IN AMERICA, Pat Patterson got a brief 3 lines. Circa 1945 after military service (army) he created a cast of marionettes for shows on the West Coast. But the Topanga web report tells us that he began marionette work while in High School in Ilion NY, Then puppet shows helped pay tuition through his Pirro Clown marionette 15 minute variety act when attending college in Kentucky.
Well, here’s another tidbit–Pat Patterson had a long association with UCLA (mentioned in the Topanga report), which is why Mel Helstein of the UCLA Theatre Dept puppet program which lasted 28 years, was able to showcase Pat Patterson’s 15 minute Pirro clown act at the 1957 National Puppetry Festival in Royce Hall.
I think it was late 1940s/early 1950s that a commercially distributed 16 mm movie featured Pirro with Pat. Basically this was the same routine we saw performed live at the UCLA Festival. It might possibly have been a Coronet Film product but if not, was similarly distributed. I remember Pirro being advertised in film catalogs for home & school use. The photo in the Topanga web report could have served both to advertise the film & Pat’s live performances. I had seen that photo many years ago in printed film catalogs.