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Bert Leo (James Leo Duffy) in a hippo's mouth
Bert Leo's real name was James Leo Duffy. He was born 13 Apr 1882 in New Castle, Lawrence County, PA. He was the son of Keizah Hilliard Duffy and George Duffy. James started performing as an acrobat in a vaudeville show in 1900. He later joined the circus and became a trick rider and clown. He worked for the following circuses: Al Barnes' Circus, John Robinson's Circus, and Sells-Floto Circus. In the 1920s, James had bit parts in silent movies. He was in the silent movie titled, "The Little Clown" (1921) with the actress, Mary Miles Minter. James died 25 Sep 1940 in Youngstown, Mahoning County, OH.
Photograph from the collection of Eileen McCummins Stickle, great-grand niece of James Leo Duffy.