RIP- Rob Torres, International Man of Mirth.

It is with very sad heart that I relay the fact that Rob Torres, International Man of Mirth has passed away.

UPDATE 12/10/2019:  Jim Moore’s book/tribute to Rob Torres is now available.
Read the review for more information.

Rob Torres putting on makeup

Rob Torres putting on his makeup. This photo is from his Twitter account.

I saw him perform at the New York Clown Festival, with Big Apple a couple of times, and a few times as part of the Bindlestiff Revues and NY Downtown Clown Revue.  Rob was a graduate of Ringling Brothers Clown College, studied with Sigfrido Aguilar in Mexico, and worked all over the place.  He had performed in over 60 countries according to his website, and with a number of prestigious organizations.  He also performed on the street, on cruise ships, and just about anywhere there was an audience.

Rob performing at the Budapest International Circus Festival

Rob Torres

photo: Gayla Feierman

Rob Torres

photo: Thierry Bissat

His clown was an innocent with a tiny mischievous grin, a sort of Mr. Bean minus the malicious parts.  Things for Rob would always go wrong, yet somehow he managed to go with the flow and allow everything to work out.  He won the audience over with his cleverness, but also with his heart. What I always loved about his work was his innocence, and his simplicity.  Not simple as in easy, but simple as in he was constantly refining his work and making it easier and easier to understand.  His desires were clear, and each time I saw him perform, I saw him take the audience on his journey, and make them laugh while he was doing it.

Rob Torres

Rob Torres as the headliner at the Cirque d’Hiver


Rob Torres was a fantastic clown and an even better guy

Rob Torres

photo:Gayla Feierman

In addition to being a funny and engaging clown, Rob was a great guy.  We didn’t see each other very often, but when we did he’d give me a big hug, we’d talk about people we knew in common, and we’d talk about work, the good and the bad.  I once imposed on him for some tickets to see Big Apple Circus at the very last minute at Lincoln Center, and he managed to supply two great seats and a backstage tour afterwards for my son and I.  He was a giver.

Rob’s reel for street performing


This appeared on Rob’s Facebook page today.

I don’t know the details of his death, other than it was very sudden.  His family announced it on his facebook page, and there has been a huge outpouring of grief on that page.
He was a beloved member of the clown community, and touched his fellow clowns and his audiences equally with kindness.  The family will announce more about a memorial service honoring Rob on his page at a later date.

As I said on his facebook page– this is a loss for clowns and audiences everywhere.  Rob brought a great deal of heart to all of his work, and brought the audience on his journey, and as he makes this next journey, he is taking a little bit of my heart (and the rest of the clown communities heart) with him.

Go with God, Rob, and if there is a god, make him (or her) laugh!



Read the obit in the Bergen Record.


See Rob’s Website-


View Rob’s Youtube page

See Rob’s facebook page (must be logged into Facebook to view)





One comment

  • I am spearheading a Rob Torres Tribute Book campaign that seeks donations to create a Tribute book comprised of photographs taken by several wonderful photographers that captured Rob at his peak. (Maike Schulz, Michelle Bates, Jim Moore) Together with family photographs, comments and personal photographs I took of Rob in Paris, St. Louis and New York.
    Here is a link to the campaign.

    We need your help to make this campaign a ‘reality’.
    Rob Torres was one the world’s most celebrated clowns.
    He died at age 44 from a heart attack. This is a TRIBUTE to his
    wonderful career and life’s work to make people laugh.
    A ‘Collectable’ book! Please donate what you can…

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