The AP reports that Lew Anderson, who was the final actor to portray Clarabell the Clown on the seminal children's program The Howdy Doody Show (1947-1960), died on Sunday at the age of 84 of prostate cancer.
Anderson took on the role in the mid 1950s, following Bobby Nicholson. The late Bob Keeshan, who later went on to play Captain Kangaroo, was the first to don the Clarabell costume.
The Clarabell character was mute for the entire run of the show, but Anderson had the distinction of uttering the clown's first televised words: On the show's final episode in 1960, he said, "Goodbye, kids."
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