Russia mourns death of legendary clown

Clown Oleg Popov is captured looking out of a tent of the Russian State Circus in Dusseldorf, Germany, in April 2009. Russia is now mourning Mr Popov, a legendary Soviet-era clown who performed until he died of heart failure this week at the age of 8
PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Clown Oleg Popov is captured looking out of a tent of the Russian State Circus in Dusseldorf, Germany, in April 2009.

Russia is now mourning Mr Popov, a legendary Soviet-era clown who performed until he died of heart failure this week at the age of 86.

At 19, Mr Popov, whose clockmaker father disappeared during World War II, was hired by the government-run circus organisation.

His big break came in 1954, when he stepped in for the head clown, who had broken his arm at the circus in the Volga city of Saratov.

Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky offered his condolences in a statement yesterday, saying that Mr Popov's performances "brought joy and goodness to many generations of our compatriots.

He managed to create a unique image of an eccentric clown who radiated light just by making an appearance and turned every performance into a festivity".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2016, with the headline 'Russia mourns death of legendary clown'. Print Edition | Subscribe