avana, Cuba, June of 1918, Colorful oversized posters announce this evening’s show:

¡Bell Family Vaudeville Company!

 Backstage, surrounded by journalists, photographers, and assistants, the Bells rehearse for a typical performance of their Vaudeville show. Later, the lights will go down and Carlos Bell opens the evening with an act of gymnastics and strength, lifting one hundred and fifty-pound cannon balls upon his shoulders.


Charles Bell in Ben-Hur, c. 1920


icardo’s virtuoso violin then soothes the audience with popular and classic tunes. Holding a shotgun in each hand, Eduardo shoots simultaneously at different targets held by his undaunted wife, Nelly.



Sharp-shooting act. Edward Bell, Sr. and wife Nelly Lewis Bell. South America, c. 1917


eorge the Ventriloquist engages in a conversation among his alter-ego Bobby—a life-size wooden doll with an Andalusian accent—himself, and another character of his choosing. The talented George can imitate seventeen different voices.




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George Bell and Bobby, c. 1917




 Richard Bell

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