Avruch, Frank (1928-2018)
Scope:

The Frank Avruch collection consists of audio material, photographs, film and video, memorabilia, manuscripts, printed material, artwork, correspondence, professional material, electronic media, and diaries and journals, among other materials.

Audio material includes material from Avruch’s early professional years; audio recordings of his original musical advertising jingles for radio (1952-1955); tapes of Avruch’s work at radio station WNEB in Worcester, Mass. (ca. 1955); material relating to Avruch’s role as Bozo the Clown on Boston’s WHDH-TV (ca. 1958-1970); material relating to Avruch’s later television career; and a recording of a commercial for Dunkin Donuts (Feb. 1957).

Photographs in the collection consist of black and white prints, color prints, and negatives. Photographs include images of Avruch’s travels abroad; images of his friends, family, and fans; images relating to Avruch’s role as Bozo the Clown; and images relating to his acting career as a whole. Notables include Count Basie, Lloyd Bridges, Cab Calloway, Kitty Carlisle, Van Cliburn, Michael Dukakis, Morgan Fairchild, Henry Fonda, John Gielgud, Ruth Gordon, Mahalia Jackson, Bert Lahr, Jack Lemmon, Jerry Lewis, Myrna Loy, Marcel Marceau, Vincente Minelli, Tony Perkins, Jason Robards, and Adam West, among others.

Film and video in the collection includes reels of film, video cassettes in various formats, and DVDs. Included are Avruch’s interviews with Louise Rainer, Greer Garson, George Cukor, Cyd Charisse, and Gloria Swanson; several segments of Man About Town and The Great Entertainment; numerous tributes and special events; recordings containing narration by Avruch; biographical material; material relating to Bozo the Clown; and “blooper” reels; among other materials.

Memorabilia includes numerous awards from various organizations, including UNICEF, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame, the Freemasons, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, among others. Additional material in the collection includes high school and college transcripts, as well as two college term papers; a Winthrop High School yearbook from 1945; diplomas from Boston University in 1949 and Winthrop High School in 1945; and the original costume worn on the Bozo the Clown show on Boston’s WHDH-TV (ca. 1958-1970); among other materials.

Manuscripts include material regarding Avruch’s role as Bozo the Clown on Boston’s WHDH-TV (ca. 1958-1970), several scripts for The Great Enternainment (1986-1990), the transcript of a 2010 interview with Bozo the Clown by Jay Blotcher,

Printed material includes programs, flyers, magazines, files, internet printouts, newspaper clippings, promotional items, and booklets featuring Avruch or pertaining to his acting career. Much of the material regards Avruch’s role as Bozo the Clown on Boston’s WHDH-TV (ca. 1958-1970) or his later acting career. Also included is a file on Alzheimer’s.

Artwork in the collection consists of an original drawing by Carol Spinney (“Big Bird” on the children’s television program Sesame Street) of Avruch as Bozo (1965); a cartoon of Avruch by Paul Szep; a pencil sketch of Avruch by Judy Bartniki; and a portrait of Avruch from 1983.

Correspondence in the collection consists of personal letters from 1961 to 2003, various holiday and birthday cards, fan letters, letters from children regarding Bozo the Clown, and professional letters.

Professional material includes files regarding the Strauss Family from 1988 to 1998, Great Entertainment TV Spots, and Avruch’s later television career, among other topics.

The collection also includes miscellaneous electronic media and diaries and journals.

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Notable Figures
1. Avruch, Frank
Associated Subjects
1. Theatre and Film Subject Guide
2. Radio Subject Guide
3. Television Subject Guide
4. Bozo the clown (Television program).
5. Television personalities – United States
6. Clowns -- United States.
7. Philanthropists – Massachusetts – Boston
8. Recreation – Massachusetts – Boston
9. Boston (Mass.) -- Social life and customs -- 20th century
10. Celebrities -- United States
11. Videotapes
12. Television programs for children – United States
13. WCVB-TV (Television station: Boston, Mass.)
14. Television personalities – Massachusetts – Boston
15. Scrapbooks
16. Audiotapes
17. Diaries
18. Motion pictures