Cosmo Allegretti: Captain Kangaroo character behind Dancing Bear and Mr. Moose

Cosmo Allegretti was Captain Kangaroo's puppeteer who brought to life some of the show's most loved characters. He has passed away. Cosmo Allegretti's Dancing Bear costume was sold for more than $200,000 recently. 

AP Photo/File
Cosmo Allegretti, 'Captain Kangaroo puppeteer', died last month. Here, Cosmo Allegretti is dressed up as Dennis the Painter on 'Captain Kangaroo' in 1979.

Cosmo Allegretti, who created and voiced puppet characters like Grandfather Clock, Dancing Bear, Mr. Bunny Rabbit, and Mr. Moose on the children's television show "Captain Kangaroo," has died. He was 86.

The Dancing Bear character was so beloved that the costume sold for more than $200,000 at the Nate D. Sanders Auction House during a special Captain Kangaroo memorabilia auction in June.

"The value of Dancing Bear's costume increased due to the fact that the Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit puppets had already been donated to the prestigious Smithsonian Institute in Washington and will never be for sale," reported PRWeb on June 13. 

 Allegretti, who had homes in Hampton Bays, N.Y., and New River, Ariz., died of emphysema on July 26 in Arizona, his attorney and friend John Munzel said Wednesday.

Allegretti had been a puppeteer but was working as a set painter in the early days of "Captain Kangaroo." He volunteered to make a replacement when the show was dissatisfied with a puppet created by a professional. He gave life to characters Rollo the Hippopotamus, Miss Worm, Cornelius the Walrus, Dennis the Apprentice and others. The show, starring Bob Keeshan, started on CBS in 1955 and aired for more than 30 years.

As an actor, Allegretti appeared in films including "Prince of the City."

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