Frank Paris, a puppeteer who created the original Howdy Doody marionette, died of lung cancer earlier this month at home in North Hollywood. He was 70. Paris created puppets in the images of such stars as Carmen Miranda and Sonja Henie and performed with them around the world. His original Howdy Doody marionette debuted on the kiddie show in 1947, but was taken off after six months due to a contract dispute with NBC. A new Howdy was created by a former Walt Disney artist. Which brings us to Velma Wayne Dawson, the woman credited with making the marionettes for the Howdy Doody show from 1948 until it went off the air in 1960. She was discovered unresponsive on her bed at home in Palm Desert yesterday. She was 94. She recently was honored by the Pacific Southwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for 50 years in TV.
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