Cosmo Allegretti, 'Captain Kangaroo' Character Creator, Dies

Image: Cosmo Allegretti, 'Captain Kangaroo' Character Creator, Dies Cosmo Allegretti, right, and Bob Keeshan

Thursday, 08 Aug 2013 11:19 AM

By Ken Mandel

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"Captain Kangaroo" character creator Cosmo Allegretti has died at age 86. Allegretti created and voiced classic characters like Dancing Bear and Grandfather Clock on the popular children's TV show.

Allegretti died July 26 of emphysema, his lawyer and friend John Munzel told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

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A puppeteer, Allegretti began as a set painter during the early days of the iconic show, and volunteered to create a replacement after producers weren't happy with a professionally designed puppet.

He later brought life to Bunny Rabbit, Mister Moose, Rollo the Hippopotamus, Miss Worm, Cornelius the Walrus, Uncle Ralph, Miss Frog, Dennis the Apprentice, and Mr. Whispers.

Grandfather Clock was a fan favorite. Dancing Bear was mute and often danced to music in short features.

"Captain Kangaroo," created by show star Bob Keeshan, aired on CBS from Oct. 3, 1955, until Dec. 8, 1984, making it the longest-running nationally broadcast children's television program of its day. Keeshan died in 2004 at age 76.

"Sesame Street" is the now the longest-running show, at 44 seasons and counting since its 1969 inception.

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Related stories:

'Sesame Street' Layoffs Affect 10 Percent of Production Force

'Sesame Street' Jail: Muppet Parent in Prison Adds Plot Twist (Video)

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