CLEVELAND, Tenn., Aug. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- His fans may not have known his name, but Cosmo Allegretti's voice, puppeteering and acting impacted the lives of millions.
Now the world mourns the loss of Allegretti, master puppeteer for Captain Kangaroo, the longest running nationally broadcast children's show of its time. Allegretti passed away at 86 of emphysema in Phoenix on July 26, but his death was confirmed only recently.
Creator of a memorable cast of characters
Allegretti was the voice and puppeteering genius for such beloved Captain Kangaroo characters as Dancing Bear, Mr. Moose, Mr. Bunny Rabbit, Grandfather Clock and Dennis the Painter. Allegretti seamlessly managed this diverse menagerie of characters, and every performance displayed unparalleled poise and professionalism.
Allegretti was not originally part of the Captain Kangaroo cast. He first worked on the show as a set painter. One day, a creation of the show's puppet maker dissatisfied the Captain Kangaroo staff. Allegretti created a replacement puppet, and the rest is children's TV history.
Collector keeps spotlight on Allegretti's genius
Allegretti's passing is particularly difficult for lifetime fans like Allan Jones, founder and CEO of Check Into Cash. Jones acquired many iconic Captain Kangaroo items during a May auction. The most prized of these pieces was Allegretti's Dancing Bear costume.
Dancing Bear was one of show's three main characters, along with Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit. According to Jones, the value of the Dancing Bear costume increased prior to the May auction due to the fact that Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit puppets had already been donated to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, and will never be for sale.
"Cosmo Allegretti played an integral role in my childhood," Jones said solemnly. "I just hope that the recent auction of his costume gave him a final glimmer of joy, as he realized the impact he had on so many. He will not be forgotten."
In an effort to remind young and old alike of Allegretti's immense talent, Jones unveiled the Dancing Bear costume at a recent engagement party, which took place at Jones' home.
Dancing Bear pranced around the party and mingled with guests for photo ops. However, "The actor we hired to wear the Dancing Bear costume was but a shadow of Cosmo," Jones said. "No one can hold a candle to the original."
SOURCE Check Into Cash