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Parley Baer

Parley Baer

Created and toured with his own circuses, doubling as ringmaster and performance director, roles he filled as well with other circuses as well.

During his struggling years, he served as a ringmaster for Circus Vargas and Barnum & Bailey. He would later serve on the board of the community L.A. Circus, and as a docent at the Los Angeles Zoo. Wrote publicity for Al. G. Barnes Circus, in winters. Announcer at Salt Lake City radio station, SLM.

Hefty, balding character actor of mostly comedy hijinks who, during his six-decade career, proved a durable, hot-headed foil for TV's top sitcom stars such as Lucille Ball, Ozzie Nelson and Andy Griffith.

In 1946, he met and married circus aerialist and bareback rider Ernestine Clarke. They were together for 54 years until her death, producing two daughters, Kim and Dale.

In addition to the role of Chester on the Gunsmoke radio series which ran from 1952 to 1961 (the part was played by Dennis Weaver in the long-running television series), Baer was frequently heard on the Lux Radio Theater, Escape and Suspense radio programs, among others. He played the part of "Chester" on Gunsmoke on radio. The part on TV was played by Dennis Weaver.



Once worked an act of seven tigers at the long-defunct Jungleland in Thousand Oaks, California.

Served in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific theater in WWII, earning seven battle stars and a presidential citation. Attained rank of captain.

Studied drama at the University of Utah.

The voice of Ernie Keebler on the Keebler cookies commercials.

With Ralph Edwards, co-founded Pioneer Pacific Broadcasters.


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