His grandson, David Palakovs recently contacted me after finding my clown blog where I had posted my 40 year old drawing and information about his grandfather. David's father Michael changed his name when he went to America in the 1950's. Michael created the clown Ronald McDonald using the Coco moniker. Michael's 'Coco the Clown' was inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame in 1991.
Many thanks to David for alerting me to the name change. I have been able to research the history of his family.
Nicolai Poliakoff was born to a Jewish family in Latvi 1900 and died on 25th September 1974. His wife Valantina was buried next to him in 1983 at Wood Newton Parish Church, England. Coco the Clown, (technically an Auguste) always on the receiving end of buckets of water and custard pies. His boot size is 58! The trick hair with hinges in the centre parting lifts when Coco is suprised.
Coco was in one of the first Richard Tauber talking pictures, "Never trust a woman". Coco went to England in 1929 working in the Bertram Mills Circus.
In the Second World War, Poliakoff entertained troops as a member of ENSA. In 1960 he was involved in a serious road accident. He subsequently devoted himself in the promotion of road safety awareness in children. He received an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II for his work. This was a unique award for a Russian Clown.
His daughter Tamara was the founder, with her husband Ali Hassani, the first Circus in the United Kingdom not to use animals.
Coco Variety - Circus:
1. Conjuring tricks by Coco
2. Victor the boneless wonder in amazing contortions.
3. Speciality Act by Coco and daughter Helen.
He worked in a Lithuanian circus, the Berlin Circus Busch which was the largest circus in Germany. He appeared in the movie 'Katterina Knie'
Died in Petersborough Hospital after a short illness.