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Charlie Roark

Charles Roark


Charles "Charlie" Fredrick Roark was born in Malvern Arkansas on July 29, 1918 to parents Fredrick Stinson Roark and Hattie Johnson Roark.

Charles got into show business at an early age, honing his skills as a magician and ventriloquist. Charlie was a noted "Punch and Judy" puppeteer. Charles had a "Country Style" delivery of humor which audiences loved. His comedy ventriloquist routine with his alter ego "Sandy McNasty", was extremely amusing. A portion of the routine would go as follows:

Sandy looking at audience: "Hey, look at that kid over there, boy he is ugly".
Charlie: "He is not. Now you apologize to that young man".
Sandy: "No I'm not going to Joll-a-Pize."
Charlie: "I told you to apologize to him. Now tell him that you're sorry".
Sandy: "Ok, OK. Hey Kid I'm sorry you're so darn ugly".

In 1938 Charlie joined the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus performing at Madison Square Gardens in New York City and stayed with them for ten seasons, he subsequently worked for 16 different circuses throughout his career traveling from coast to coast. Charles had the distinction of being the first ventriloquist to appear on television in its infancy, a new medium at that time.

He starred in stage producer Bob Snowden's "International Cavalcade of Stars", which was a large magic stage show.

After his retirement he came home to Malvern in 1980 and in his 80s and 90s still performed at local civic clubs and children's birthday parties and retirement homes.

Charles Fredrick Roark, died Friday, August 19, 2011 at his home in Malvern Arkansas, he was 93.

Charlie 32nd degree Mason, a fifty year member of the Grand Lodge of Georgia.




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