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Maria Perego
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Puppeteer
    (December 8, 1923-November 7, 2019)
    Born in Venice, Italy
    Puppeteer
    Creator of Topo Gigio
    Partnered with her husband, Federico Caldura
    Made puppets for the Italian show 'Canzonissima'
    Attained success after Topo Gigio appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show
    Penned the memoir 'Io e Topo Gigio' ('Me and Topo Gigio,' 2015)
    She wore her hair in a Beehive-do.
    She came up with the idea for Topo Gigio voice after hearing a sped-up recording of Domenico Modugno, which she said 'sounded like a little mouse.'
    As one of two or three puppeteers controlling Topo Gigio’s movements, she was rarely seen.
    The appearance of Topo Gigio on Ed Sullivan was a huge hit, and he would appear fifty more times on the program.
    She devised an entirely new material to make puppets out of a sponge-like foam used to make Christmas trees at her local barber shop.
    Because of the malleability of the material, she could incorporate mechanisms that would allow the movement of eyes, mouth and fingers, creating a lifelike illusion.
    There have been books, cartoons, record albums, stage shows and films based on the Topo Gigio character.
    She was working on a new animated series featuring the character at the time of her death.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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