Steve Smith (clown)
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Steve Smith (born August 8, 1951), professional clown and circus director, is best known to audiences as the clown character, "TJ Tatters."
Steve Smith began his career in clowning as a Graduate of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, Class of 1971. He then toured with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for six seasons before leaving the show and moving to Chicago, Illinois where he attended the Goodman School of Drama and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the institution, now commonly referred as The Theater School at DePaul University. At that time, he also hosted a children's television series called "Kidding Around" for the local NBC affiliate. The program won several Emmy Awards and was a popular favorite for seven seasons.
Steve's connection with Ringling resumed when he became Director of Clown College in 1985, a post he held for ten years.
Steve became involved with the staging of a number of performances and productions from the Off-Broadway hit, The It Girl to programs for Walt Disney World to shipboard entertainment for Royal Caribbean Cruise lines. Smith then worked with animator/cartoonist Chuck Jones as Talent Development Coordinator for his production company, until Jones' death in 2002.
Steve Smith was inducted into the Clown Hall Of Fame in 1993 and is the recipient of several other honors, including: the Medal of Merit for Notable Achievement in Performing Arts from Ohio University; the Excellence in the Arts award from De Paul University; and the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art Circus Celebrity, Power Behind the Scenes.
- Genzlinger, Neil (November 2, 2010). "The Artists and Oddballs Under a Tent". New York Times. Retrieved 13 March 2011.