Captain Kangaroo may not be a name recognizable to many, but for those familiar with children’s television show, the Captain and his cast of characters were beloved by children all over the United States. Two of these beloved characters were Grandfather Clock and Dancing Bear. The actor who lent his voice to these characters was Cosmo Allegretti.
Allegretti was first hired as a set painter. As as luck would have it, he happened to be on the set when there was a problem with one of the puppets. The puppet had been made by a professional puppeteer and producers were unsure if Allegreetti could make the transition when he volunteered for the job. It was at this time when his professional training as a puppeteer paid off. Later he created the characters Bunny Rabbit, Mister Moose, Rollo the Hippopotamus, Miss Worm, Cornelius, the Walrus, Dennis Apprentice and more. Among these, Mister Moose was the most popular.
In addition to puppeteer, Allegretti was also a professional actor who appeared in various films including Prince Of The City. His others talents included being the creator of the Magic Drawing Board.
Even though Sesame Street entering its 44th season, holds the current record for the longest running children’s’ show. The Captain Kangaroo Show aired from October 3, 1955 until December 8, 1984, making it the longest-running nationally broadcast children’s’ television program of it’s day. Many of Sesame Street’s original writers started their careers on the Captain Kangaroo Show.
Allegretti, died in Arizona of emphysema on July 26, 2013. He also had homes in homes in Hampton Bays, New York and New River, Arizona. He was 86 years old.