Rhoda Winkler (Rhoda Winkler)

Rhoda Winkler

Chief Puppeteer and Voice Actress. Winkler performed for five and a half years with the ‘Howdy Doody Show’ beginning with its premier on December 27, 1947. Born Rhoda Mann, she taught herself to work marionettes at age 9. Her first job in show business was working as assistant to Ali Benali, the Moroccan Wonderman. At 20, she was supporting her family as the master puppeteer on ‘Howdy Doody’ and also animated the puppet, Princess Summerfall Winterspring. Mann was the first woman on the set permitted to wear pants, since she worked the Howdy puppet on 12 foot long strings from a bridge swaying above the studio floor. She later learned she was being paid as an extra after AFTRA was formed and she sued the network successfully for years of back pay and was awarded $4,000. She would go on to record more than 80 radio and TV commercials and performed character voices for children’s animated TV and was the first woman to do voice-over for a car commercial in the 1960’s. Winkler died of natural causes. (bio by: Louis M.)


  • January, 01, 1970
  • USA


  • March, 03, 2015
  • USA


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