Born Dec. 18, 1778 in London, England, Joseph Grimaldi debuted as a dancer at age four at the Sadler's Wells Theatre. In 1806 he joined Covent Garden Theatre, where, in the pantomime Harlequin Mother Goose, he enjoyed his greatest success. In this production he created a new type of clown. His whiteface makeup and impudent thievery became the norm for all pantomime clowns who came after.
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