Bil Baird (William Britton Baird)
BiographyGrand Island, Nebraska, USA
Bil Baird and his wife Cora Baird, the driving forces behind the Bil & Cora Baird Puppets, were pioneer entertainers in U.S. TV, when commercial television in the States was taking its first baby steps. Much of what early viewers could view on that seven-inch screen, with its eerie, whitish glow in a darkened room where a family gathered round to watch in wonder, had come from radio. But the Bairds' medium - their marionettes - was strictly visual, and the audience was regaled. Read more... other than Yul Brynner. They and their puppets went on to star in other shows, and the Bairds were featured performers on CBS's attempt to wrest away some of the audience from NBC's "Today" show with its "The Morning Show" (1954), which initially featured their principal newsman, Walter Cronkite. As well, delineated marvelously by the music of Ukrainian-born composer Sergei Prokofiev, the Baird Puppets provided the visual enhancement for Art Carney's narration of the 1958 ABC-TV special, "Art Carney Meets Peter and the Wolf."