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Mask - GTV Channel 9, Gerry Gee, Rubber, Melbourne, circa 1960 Object Reg. No: HT 31741

Summary:
Moulded and painted face mask of ventriloquist doll Gerry Gee.

It was made at the Richmond studios of GTV Channel 9 in the early 1960s. It was used during the production of the children's television program `The Tarax Show', specifically in the pre recorded serials shown during the show. These included `The Adventures of Gerry Gee' (filmed around Melbourne in 1960 and 1961) and `Around the World with Gerry Gee' (filmed in various overseas countries during 1962), both of which were conceived, written and directed by the show's producer Denzil Howson.

The mask was used during scenes which required Gerry Gee, a ventriloquist doll, to walk, run or move about. It was worn his stand in, schoolboy John Field, who lived next to Howson in East Malvern.

Later it was used by Howson's children as a plaything, and then passed on to Gerry's ventriloquist Ron Blaskett, as a memento of his time on the show.
Description:
Painted rubber mask, moulded in the form of Gerry Gee 's face. The face of the mask is painted with red lips, moulded raised eyebrows and eyes painted in brown. There are round apertures cut from the centre of each iris. The outer rubber surface is thickly painted light pink. The paint is cracking across the entire surface. The base of the mask is slightly squared, below the neck. The mask extends across the crown of the head, and is cut away at the back, just beyond a raised moulded ear on each side. The mask is without hair.
Statement Of Significance:
This mask is a significant addition to the Museum's collection because of its relationship to local television production, particular out of the famed studios of GTV Channel 9 in Richmond. Opening in January 1957, and known in its heyday as `Television City', the studios were the home of many of Melbourne most significant programs and famed identities. two of these were Melbourne born ventriloquist Ron Blaskett and his doll Gerry Gee. Blaskett commissioned the doll from Frank Marshall of Chicago, USA (who also made the famous Charlie McCarthy doll), for the opening of Melbourne's GTV Channel 9, for which Gerry Gee was named, in January 1957. They appeared as one of the lead acts on the Happy Show, later renamed The Tarax Show to reflect their main sponsor, which ran from 1957 to 1965.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Michael Reason, 2012
Discipline: History

More information

Tagged with: television publicity, puppetry, broadcasting, television production, masks, ventriloquism
Themes this item is part of: Childhood & Youth Collection, Information & Communication Collection
Primary Classification: COMMUNICATIONS
Secondary Classification: Television Programming & Production
Tertiary Classification: costumes
Manufactured For: GTV 9 Television Station, Richmond, Victoria, Australia, 1960-1962
Person Depicted: Gerry Gee, Richmond, Victoria, Australia, 1960-1962
User: Master John Field, Richmond, Victoria, Australia, 1960-1965

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