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Tommy Atkins

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Tommy Atkins
BornRuth A. Buckley
circa 1922
Oneonta, New York
DiedFebruary 22, 2000 (age 77)
Scotia, New York

Tommy Atkins (c.1922-2000), a female ventriloquist and magician, was a pioneer in television producing her own television program "Tommy Atkins, The Story Lady" in the late 1940s.


Her interest in puppets and magic began as a child entertaining other children. After graduating from Syracuse University, she moved to Schenectady to work at a General Electric owned television station WRGB in 1947 as a receptionist. Within a year, she was writing and producing her own television program "Tommy Atkins, The Story Lady." In 1950, the show changed one puppet called Cookie, dressed as a nurses' aide for the American Red Cross.

For thirty years she worked for Storytown, USA (later The Great Escape) theme park. At the park she played Ghost Town's lady marshall doing magic with her puppet sidekick Deputy Oogie Pringle and Marshall "Windy" Bill Mckay. She also continued her association with WRGB-TV, appearing regularly on air during the station's Muscular Dystrophy and St. Jude telethons.

She held I.B.M. number 16198 and was a member of the Order of Merlin. She was co-founder and past president of Ring 186 of Albany, New York.[1]


  1. Obit, Linking Ring, June 2000