Name: Les Hamilton & Virginia Morrison

Be sure to check out the videos. We have acquired films from Mr. Hamilton’s personal collection. This includes footage of Les barrel jumping and acts of skaters Bobby Widholm and Willie Kall.

Biographies from various show programs:

Les Hamilton

After an interlude of more than four and one half years, Les Hamilton is back to fill an important comedy role in the new Ice Follies of 1947.

The first member of the Ice Follies cast to be called to the army, Les can boast of pre-Pearl Harbor service and the longest military record of anyone in the troupe. He joined the air corps in March, 1941, and did not receive his discharge until late 1945. During that time he was in the photographic section, did special medical photography and spent more than a year in the South Pacific.

An all-round athlete, Hamilton graduated from Central High in Kansas City, Missouri, where he took part in football and track. During his early career, he was a more than competent speed skater winning the Kansas City title three years in a row.

He then turned to barrel jumping but gave up the hazardous leaping sport when he joined the Ice Follies in 1937. In the current edition of the Ice Follies, he portrays the mischievous “Sis Hopkins” in a type role in which he has proven himself extremely proficient.

Les Hamilton, Kansas City, Missouri, a versatile skater who presents his famous comedy entitled, “Grandma Going to Town.”

Les Hamilton –Master of blade satire on the ice, Les Hamilton is an all-around athlete as well. During his leisure hours he spends most of his time on the golf course, where he scores in the low seventies. Hamilton is one of the few skaters in the Ice Follies cast who does not originate in the Northwest where the winters are long and cold and where the skating season lasts from November to April. Les learned his skating on an indoor rink in Kansas City, Missouri. Early in his skating career he developed a flair for comedy and has been a topnotch comedian ever since. His mimicry and satiric pantomime have earned him an important place in the figure skating world. In addition to his work as a comedy star, Hamilton appears in several important group routines. The fact that he skates conventional figures as well as comedy.

Les Hamilton and Virginia Morrison are rated tops by Ice Follies audiences as an outstanding comedy duo. They are both graduates of speed skating competitions, although Les did his “flying” around Kansas City, Mo., while Virginia was garnering “firsts” in Wisconsin State events. Les was an all-‘round athlete in Kansas City and a star of football and baseball. He had an opportunity to join a Major League baseball chain, but decided in favor of skating, especially after he first saw the Ice Follies in 1936. Soon his natural flair for comedy was noticed by Eddie and Roy Shipstad and Oscar Johnson and he was groomed for a comedian. Hamilton spent five years in the Air Force as a photographer and returned to the Ice Follies after V-J Day. It was then that he joined with Miss Morrison to form a new and different team. Virginia Morrison is a native of Manitowoe, Wis., but now makes her home in Grants Pass, Oregon. Her hobby is driving foreign automobiles. Les Hamilton has passed up all other sports in favor of golf and always plays in the low eighties. He now lists Burlingame, Calif., as his home.

Les Hamilton and Virginia Morrison both made a name for themselves as speed skaters before becoming featured comedians in the Ice Follies. Les captured a formidable number of speed skating titles in the region near his home in Kansas City, Missouri, and joined Ice Follies as a barrel jumper ‘way back in 1937 while Virginia was a blade speed merchant in her home town of Neenah, Wisconsin. Hamilton soon turned to comedy and was well on his way to the top when the Armed Services claimed him in 1941. After five years in the Air Corps as a motion picture and still photographer, he returned to the Ice Follies after V-J Day to pick up his career where he left off. It was then that he joined with Miss Morrison to form a new comedy team. Although she started with the Ice Follies as an ensemble skater and developed into one of the most glamorous Ice Folliettes, Virginia always had a desire to do comedy which was fulfilled when she teamed with Hamilton. She felt that comedy offered a wide field for a woman because of the scarcity of feminine comics. Les is married to Vivienne Lafayette, one of the Ice Folliettes. For recreation he is interested in golf, playing in the 70’s and for a hobby concentrates on home motion pictures and the fabrication of plastics. He carries a complete plastics shop with him on the Ice Follies tour. In the hobby department Virginia is an ardent motorcyclist.

> See more photos of Les Hamilton & Virginia Morrison

> Watch video footage: Video Clip 1 (1mb) | Video Clip 2 (4.4mb)