While it’s been a long time since any of us have seen or heard Captain Kangaroo, one of the voices for show, Cosmo Allegretti, died at 86. He was the voice for characters like Grandfather Clock and Dancing Bear. Allegretti died a few weeks ago at his home in Arizona from emphysema according to his attorney.
Allegretti began working on Captain Kangaroo all the way back in 1955 as a set painter. The show, which aired on CBS, eventually hired Allegretti to replace the puppeteer. According to TV Guide, “Among the characters he created were Bunny Rabbit, Mister Moose, Rollo the Hippopotamus, Miss Frog, Dennis the Apprentice and more. He also brought some characters including Bunny Rabbit and Mister Moose to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in the early 1970s.”
“ You look too tough for a children’s show. You’ll scare the kids,’ they told me,” Mr. Allegretti told The Miami Herald in 1985. “So I was the puppeteer.”
Cosmo also had a brief acting stint appearing in films that included Author!Author! and Prince in the City in the 1980s. Allegretti married the actress and singer Carol Lawrence in 1956, however their marriage was annulled. He later married Ilolya Korody. That marriage unfortunately ended in divorce. He is survived by his son, Peter, and two grandchildren.