Aragón Brother Dies in Madrid at Age 83

Emilio, Gabriel, and Alfonso Aragón were a trio of famous actors in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. They were television clowns that started in a popular children’s show that broadcasted in America, Cuba, Argentina, and Spain. Adults from Central America, Spain, Cuba, South America, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Mexico might remember singing and dancing along with the clown brothers during their childhoods. The youngest Aragón Brother, Emilio, beloved by Hispanic baby boomers everywhere, passed away on November 17th in Madrid. He was 83 years old.

Spanish Actors were Pioneers of Cuban Television

Emilio, the last surviving brother, had returned to Spain with his brothers in the 70’s after living in Cuba for many years. The brothers were born in Spain to a family that traveled with a Spanish circus. They began performing early as teens in the 40’s. After their father died at the end of World War II, they immigrated to Cuba where they eventually became citizens. Their first T.V. shows were for children and were basically the Spanish translation of the “Howdy Doody Show” or “The Mickey Mouse Club.” Before they starred on the first television station in Cuba, the brothers also did radio shows and toured night clubs.

The brothers are best known as “Los Payasos de la Tele.” The Spanish to English translation is “the TV clowns.” Though the brothers performed in many other venues and in other media forms, they are best known for their children’s shows where they dressed as clowns. The Aragón brother’s sang educational songs, preformed skits, and even made up a popular birthday song. Each brother had a different outfit that would correspond with their clown personality, and the brothers also played instruments. Emilio played the accordion and Alfonso played an acoustic guitar. Emilio and Alfonso dressed up with red noses and long baggy shirts. They also worse traditional oversized clown shoes and worse orange wigs. Their older brother, Gabriel, dressed more seriously. He wore a black frock coat and played a saxophone.

Aragón Brothers Returned to Spain During Communist Takeover

The clown brothers were among the many people to leave Cuba after Fidel Castro took over the country in 1959. They returned to Spain where they gained a huge following and enormous success. They are still a cultural icon to this day in Spain and are fondly remembered by thousands. In the mid 70’s, the brothers were awarded a prestigious Spanish television award for the show “El Gran Circo de TVE.” The official Spanish translation is “The Great TV Circus,” and the show was on the air until the early 80’s.

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