Entertainer looks ahead and back; George Horn:...


Entertainer looks ahead and back; George Horn: Woodlawn 0) resident, 90, ran a Punch and Judy show,

Ninety-year-old George Horn made his living from puppeteering until he retired in 1987. One of his earliest jobs, about 60 years ago, was running a Punch and Judy show at a place called Club Charles (no relation to the present Club Charles).

"When the Club Charles opened up, they built a special bar with a one-way mirror. I did my show from behind it. No one ever saw me or met me. The bartenders helped me with the names of patrons who spoke to the puppets."

Mr. Horn worked with puppets that he bought just before his first show, around 1930. He borrowed a few routines from another performer and read up on puppeteering at the library. His show was such a hit that he decided to add the puppets permanently to his repertoire, which already consisted of magic and ventriloquism.

After seeing his first real magic show at 16, Mr. Horn was inspired to become an entertainer.

His early shows featured acts like a trained dog, a musical sawventriloquism and balloon animals. The addition of puppets solidified a career in entertainment.

"I never entertained the president or anything, but they tell me if turn 100 I'll get a card from the president, whoever that'll be," said Mr. Horn, who lives in Woodlawn and celebrated his 90th birthday Friday.

@ Theara Ward has danced her way around the world.

The Baltimore native performed with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and traveled to Australia, South America, Africa, Israel, Japan and the former Soviet Union, to name a few places.

Yet she got her big break right here in her hometown. Ms. Ward made a recent appearance on the television show "Homicide." She debuted as Charisse Giardello, daughter of the character played by actor Yaphet Kotto.

"I do consider this my big break," Ms. Ward said in a telephone conversation from New York. It was her first role in a dramatic television series and the first time she has worked in Baltimore since 1982. Ms. Ward hopes the role will be a recurring one.

"The performance means a lot to me," she says. "And it came at a time when I was considering moving back to Baltimore, going to school and being 'normal' again."

Ms. Ward, who refuses to divulge her age, hasn't gone the "normal" route for quite some time now. She left Pimlico Junior High School and Baltimore at 13 to join the Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York.

"It was very hard for my parents, but I really wanted to do this," says Ms. Ward, who completed her education in New York.

Over the years, Ms. Ward has performed in the French version of Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Cats"; in "Sheila's Day," a play performed in South Africa; and in the long-running Broadway musical "Black and Blue."

She is currently in "A Christmas Carol" (starring Terrence Mann and Ben Vereen), which will be performed at New York's Paramount Theatre through Dec. 31.


Sandra Crockett

Copyright © 2020, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad