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Beatty, Clyde, 1903 - 1965



  • Existence: 10 June 1903 - 19 July 1965


Clyde Beatty began his circus career working as a cage boy for Louis Roth. He quickly developed his skills as an animal trainer and gained wide spread fame, which quickly expanded to roles on several films, radio shows and fiction novels.

Clyde featured in some of the most prestigious American circuses of the time including Cole Bros. in 1935. Unbeknown to him at the time, that the relationship with Coles will last until the end of his lifetime.

His first steps into circus ownership came about in 1943 in partnership with Art Concello when the pair formed the Clyde Beatty-Russell Bros. Circus. However, he didn't acquire his own circus until 1944 when he purchased the Wallace Bros. Circus and turned it into the Clyde Beatty Circus.

During the 1950's Beatty's circus was the setting for two well known circus movies, Ring of Fear, staring Clyde Beatty himself alongside Mickey Spillane and Pat O'Brien and 3 Ring Circus, starring Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Joanne Dru and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

In c1957 the Clyde Beatty Circus was bought by the owners of Cole Bros. Circus, who merged the two circuses to form the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. Circus.

Clyde worked in the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. Circus until his death in 1965.

Found in 6 Collections and/or Records:

American Circus Programmes, 1932 - 1983

Reference code: 178K43.613
Scope and Contents

Programmes for various American circuses including; Polack Bros., Al G. Barnes, Shrine, Hagenbeck-Wallace, Cole Brothers and Clyde and Beatty, King Bros., Mills Bros. and Cristiani-Wallace Bros. Circus, Bullen Bros., Shrine Circus, California Circus, Myers Grand American Circus and Circus Hoffman. All contain black and white or colour photographs of the acts and performers inside, a programme, some information about the circus and acts and commercial advertising.

Dates: 1932 - 1983

Circus Friends Association Collection

Reference code: NFA0122
Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a large library of books and journals, as well as archival material including posters, programmes, photographs, films, handbills, research material, scrapbooks, original artwork and many other items of ephemera relating to British, Irish and European circuses

Dates: 1795 - 2020

Circus Research Material, 1891 - 1935

Reference code: 178B30.37
Scope and Contents A large volume of typed and handwritten material referring to information published in newspapers and journals including the Strand Magazine, The Royal Magazine, McClure's Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, The Bookman, The World Magazine, Cassells's Magazine, American Magazine, The Toronto Star Weekly, Everybody's Magazine, Collier's Illustrated Weekly, St. Nicholas Magazine, Popular Science Monthly, Pearson's Magazine and Saturday Evening Post on animal training and other aspects of wild...
Dates: 1891 - 1935

Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. Circus Poster, c1900 - 1930

Reference code: 178R47.37
Scope and Contents

Joliet, E. of city limits, Rt. 52 Manhattan Rd, Friday 7 August. Colour illustration of cage tamer in white shirt and trousers surounded by roaring lions and tigers in yellow, blue, red and green with red type, date and location added on at the bottom.

Dates: c1900 - 1930

Monographs, Articles, Manuscripts and Research Material, c1795 - 1999

Reference code: 178B30
Scope and Contents

Compilation of monographs, articles, manuscripts and a range of research material about circus companies and performers in the United Kingdom, Europe and other parts of the world by various authors, the research was mainly compiled by Hal Thomas.

Dates: c1795 - 1999

Programmes, c1800 - 2019

Reference code: 178K43
Scope and Contents

A collection of mainly British and international circus programmes and some variety and music hall programmes containing circus acts.

Dates: c1800 - 2019