August 11, 2009 |
The beloved puppet show "Kukla, Fran and Ollie," the creation of puppeteer Burr Tillstrom, had millions of ardent fans, among them Orson Welles, John Steinbeck and James Thurber. The show was also a major influence on future generations of puppeteers, such as Jim Henson. In fact, the Muppets' creator publicly said, "We owe everything to Burr Tillstrom and 'Kukla, Fran and Ollie.' " The classic series is celebrating its 60th anniversary with the release today on DVD of 39 episodes of the show that aired on PBS and in syndication from 1969-71 and the unveiling of a new stamp commemorating the series, which was among the first to appeal to both children and adults.
October 20, 1996 |
They don't make children's television shows like "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" anymore. Of course, they didn't back in 1947. But then puppeteer Burr Tillstrom created for the fledgling medium a whimsical universe populated by a cast of puppet characters that captivated generations. For the next three decades, Tillstrom resisted making the show, in his words, "big and noisy." He steadfastly retained its time capsule innocence.
June 13, 1989 |
Fran Allison, best remembered as the warmhearted human foil for puppets on the popular "Kukla, Fran & Ollie" television show, died today at Sherman Oaks Community Hospital. She was 81. The cause of death was not immediately available. Allison joined the late Burr Tillstrom's puppet show when it began in 1947 on local TV in Chicago. She had worked as a singer and radio personality in shows originating from Chicago during the 1930s and 1940s, including playing "Aunt Fanny" on Don McNeill's "Breakfast Club."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 9, 1998 |
Who Else Has a Star? Bob Keeshan, Captain Kangaroo Pee-wee Herman, Paul Reubens' alter-ego Big Bird Fran Allison of Kukla, Fran and Ollie Shari Lewis, creator of puppets Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy Some Who Don't John Rovick; Sheriff John told youngsters to "put another candle on your birthday cake" Nancy Claster, Miss Nancy of "Romper Room" Bill Stulla; Engineer Bill promoted obeying rules with his Red Light / Green Light game Salley Baker; Hobo Kelly drew 300,000 letters a year.
January 7, 1990
A number of readers have written to suggest additions to "Final Bow , " the Dec. 24 list of celebrities who died during the 1980s. Here are those names, plus the many that had been deleted from the list because of space limitation: Alvin Ailey, Fran Allison, Adele Astaire, Chet Baker, Brook Benton, Amanda Blake, John Bonham, Adolph Caesar, Graham Chapman, James Coco, Jackie Coogan, Dennis Day, Bob Eberly, Bill Evans, Marty Feldman,...
November 29, 1985 |
Ransom Sherman, radio writer and actor, television host and monologuist who found and encouraged such talent as Jonathon Winters, Garry Moore and Fran Allison, has died at age 87. The pixieish comic died in a convalescent home in Henderson, Nev., Tuesday night of the infirmities of age. He had been living in retirement in nearby Boulder.