Thursday, December 6, 2012

EUGENE LAMBERT

Eugene was born in County Sligo in 1928 and spent his life involved in puppetry entertainment. His father was a librarian giving the young Eugene access to books on ventriloquism. At the age of ten he began to make his own dummies putting on shows in his local community and at school. In 1950 he married Mai and moved to Dublin. After winning a talent show he got a gig at the Queens Theatre. While appearing on stage Eugene supplemented the family income as a refridgeration engineer with a company called ‘ReCold’ located on Pearse Street.
In the 1950’s he quickly found a good living as a ventriloquist appearing on many of the major Dublin stages at the time moonlighting as an engineer. In 1954 he appeared on the same bill as Laurel and Hardy at the Olympia Theatre. His dummy ‘Finnegan’ became a household in Ireland by the early 1960s. He began to appear with his act on Radio Eireann’s ‘Take The Floor’ radio programme hosted by Din Joe.
In 1963 he first appeared on RTE television with his puppetry show ‘Murphy agus a Cairde’. While making this show he was appearing with Maureen Potter at the Gaeity Theatre on ‘Gaels of Laughter’ and five nights a week on the Jury’s Cabaret Show. ‘Murphy agus a Cairde’ stayed on air until 1968 when Eugene and his director US born TV director Don Lennox began discussing a new programme idea.
He is most famously associated with Wanderly Wagon, an RTE children’s programme that ran from 1967 until 1982. On the show Lambert played O'Brien with puppets such as Mr. Judge (pictured), Mr Crow and Snake. Lambert and Judge starred in a major road safety campaign in the 70's. The plots were set in a covered wagon which was purposely built by RTE. The wagon was pulled by a horse named Padraig which was also bought by RTE.
In 1972 he founded the Lambert Theatre at the rear of his home in Monkstown County Dublin. A 250 seat theatre produces puppetry shows for thousands of children and a good few adults as well.
In the 80's his family were involved with the creation of another famous RTE puppet Bosco. Eugene died in February 2010.
Eugene was married to Mai and the couple had ten children.
STRANGE BUT TRUE
FATHER JACK ON FATHER TED, FRANK KELLY WAS DR. ASTRO ON WANDERLY WAGON BILL GOULDING WHO PLAYED RORY AND FORTYCOATS IS THE VOICE OF OLD MR. BRENNON ON THE BREAD COMPANY ADS HOLLYWOOD WRITER AND DIRECTOR NEIL JORDAN WROTE EPISODES OF WANDERLY WAGON
NORA O'MAHONY WHO PLAYED GODMOTHER STARRED WITH SEAN CONNERY IN 'DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE' NORA O'MAHONY WAS ONCE A LAY MISSIONARY IN RHODESIA NOW KNOWN AS ZIMBABWE JUDGE THE DOG WAS THE STAR OF A SAFETY CAMPAIGN CALLED THE GREEN CROSS CODE

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