Although this Ventriloquist was born in Chicago, Illinois (1903), at the age of 4 his parents who were originally immigrants from Sweden moved with their five children back to Sweden. Edgar learned the Swedish language and then taught himself the art of ventriloquism from a small booklet entitled “The Wizards Manual” when he was just 11 years old. Soon after his family returned to Chicago. When he was 16 his father Johan passed away. Young Edgar then worked as an apprentice accountant, a furnace stoker, a player-piano operator and a projectionist in a silent movie house.
After being schooled in the art of Ventriloquism by famous Ventriloquist Harry Lester, Edgar then went on to have Chicago woodcarver Theodore Mack make him the head of a puppet for which he paid $36.00. Young Edgar made the body himself for the wooden puppet head. The head of the puppet was sculpted to look like a red headed Irish boy that he had known. Edgar named the puppet “Charlie McCarthy” and as you probably now know Charlie became his lifelong performing companion. Edgar went on to a long career as a Ventriloquist doing stage shows and radio shows throughout his life.
He was also the father of a famous actress named Candice. By now you know that we have been talking about the Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen.
When you think that the only way to become famous is to be born that way, think of people like Edgar Bergen who came from nothing and just worked hard to achieve his goals.
We will talk again next week. Keep on Venting.
Steve and JET