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Burr Tillstrom
Birth: Oct. 13, 1917
Chicago
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Death: Dec. 6, 1985
Palm Springs
Riverside County
California, USA

Television Entertainer. A puppeteer, he is best remembered for his creation of "Kukla, Fran and Ollie". He was the 1979 winner of an UNIMA Citation of Excellence Award from the American Chapter of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette. In addition, he has more than 50 entertainment awards, including five Emmys. Born in Chicago, Illinois, he became a puppeteer early in his life, using teddy bears, dolls and other objects to entertain the neighborhood children. While attending the University of Chicago, he joined the Chicago Parks District's Puppet Theater, and developed his own puppets. "Kukla" was developed in 1936, and was named as such (Russian for "doll") by Russian ballerina Tamara Toumanova during a visit to the United States, when she was introduced to Tillstrom and his puppets. In the late 1930s, joined RCA Victor Television to tour the Midwest, to demonstrate the new medium to the public using his puppets. As a result, he was also invited to the 1939 New York World's Fair, where he worked in the RCA Victor exhibit. In the spring of 1940, RCA sent him to Bermuda, where he did the first ship-to-shore telecast. Tillstrom developed his concept of Kukla, Fran and Ollie during the 1939 World's Fair, in which he performed more than 2,000 shows. During World War II, he performed benefits at Chicago area hospitals for the Red Cross, and for the USO. During a war-bond rally in Chicago, he met radio singer Fran Allison, who would join his troupe for a trial 13-week program, but ended up staying an additional ten years. His show, "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" ran for a number of years beginning in 1949, and again, for two years (1976 to 1977), but has been seen for numerous years after in reruns. Tillstrom was also featured on television's "That Was the Week that Was" in 1964, without the Kuklapolitans (as he called his puppets), for which he received special recognition from the George Foster Peabody Committee the next year. After his puppets received success on television, Tillstrom brought his characters to a book, with "The Dragon Who Lived Downstairs" (1984). At the time of his death in 1985 in Palm Springs, California, he was working on a musical adaptation of his story for television. In March 1986, he was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his numerous and significant contributions to the art of television. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson) 
 
Burial:
Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum
Chicago
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Plot: Section 16, Lot 80, sub-lot 5
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Ray B
Record added: Sep 15, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6779333
Burr Tillstrom
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Burr Tillstrom
Added by: Mark
 
Burr Tillstrom
Cemetery Photo
Added by: mlp
 
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Loved Your show as a child! RIP.
- mmkennedy07
 Added: Nov. 9, 2014
REST IN HEAVENLY PEACE
- GHOSTLADY888
 Added: Oct. 13, 2014

- sjm
 Added: Oct. 13, 2014
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