Profession: Greatest Clown in History
Why Famous: The most famous clown of them all and the most popular English entertainer of the Regency era (1811-1820).
In the early 1800s, he expanded the role of Clown in the harlequinade that formed part of British pantomimes, notably at the Drury Lane, Sadler's Wells and Covent Garden theatres.
Grimaldi became so dominant on the London comic stage that the harlequinade role of Clown became known as "Joey", and both the nickname and Grimaldi's whiteface are used by clowns to this day.
- 1806-12-29 Thomas Dibdin's pantomime "Harlequin and Mother Goose" starring Joseph Grimaldi, in his most famous clown performance, opens at the Covent Garden Theatre, London
- 1829-03-17 Final performance by famous clown Joseph Grimaldi at a benefit performance at Sadler's Wells, London