Jacksonville in Jackson County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
Bozo the Clown
Vance DeBar Colvig was born here in Jacksonville on September 11, 1892. He was the youngest of the seven children of Judge William and Helen Colvig. He was later nicknamed "Pinto" by his school friends because of his freckles and the name stuck for his entire life. Pinto's childhood home was filled with music and laughter and it's been said that he was a "clown" from birth! Along the way, he learned to play the clarinet which landed him his first job. At age 12, Judge Colvig took Pinto to Portland to the Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition, where he charmed his way into the Midway playing the squeaky clarinet, wearing oversized clothes, white makeup and a clown face. The man who hired him told him he now "looked like a real Bozo" and hence the story began.
Pinto worked in the circus and in vaudeville in the summer and during that school year at Oregon Agricultural College (now OSU), where he became known for his clever cartoons in the student publication and "chalk talk" monologues.
In the years to come, Pinto continued to work with the circus and as a cartoonist
In 1916, he married Margaret Bourke Slavin in Portland, OR. In 1930, Pinto signed a contract with Walt Disney, and worked on story lines, co-wrote songs, and was the original voice for animated characters such as Goofy and Pluto, and many more character including the munchkins in the Wizard of Oz, Bluto in Popeye, and Maxwell, the automobile on the Jack Benny Show.
It was 1946 when Capitol Records created the legendary Bozo the Clown character for the children's record library, and Pinto was hired to portray the first original character. The first television series "Bozo's Circus" aired on KTTV-Channel 11 (CBS) in Los Angeles in 1949. Pinto's Bozo ended in 1956 when Larry Harmon, one of several actors hired by Capitol Records to portray Bozo at promotional appearances, formed a partnership and bought the licensing rights to Bozo.
Vance DeBar "Pinto" Colvig, the original Bozo the Clown, died of lung cancer at age 75 on October 3, 1967.
We are proud to honor his legacy.
Location. 42° 18.765′ N, 122° 58.247′ W. Marker is in Jacksonville, Oregon, in Jackson County. Marker is at the intersection of Fir Street and S Oregon St, on the left when traveling north on Fir Street. Touch for map Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rich Gulch (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Britt House: Simple Frame to Cottage Gothic (about 600 feet away); Peter Britt: A Passion for His Garden (about 700 feet away); City Hall (about 700 feet away); China Quarter (about 700 feet away); World War II Three Trees Memorial (about 700 feet away); Peter Britt: Man of Culture and Commerce (about 800 feet away); History Right Here - Furniture Fabrication (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jacksonville.
Categories. • Entertainment •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 20, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 18, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. This page has been viewed 62 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 18, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.