Who is Bobby Burgess?

Famous American dancer, singer and actor Robert Wilkie ‘Bobby’ Burgess, was born in Long Beach, California, on 19 May 1941 under the zodiac sign of Taurus. Bobby’s probably still known for having been one of the original Mouseketeers in the adventure family series “The Magical World of Disney”, created by William Blinn, and which starred Walt Disney, Paul Frees and Clarence Nash. It’s an anthology which covers various genres, aired from 1954 to 1997, numbering 736 episodes, and won 15 of its 37 award nominations, including an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary, Short Subjects (Ward Kimball).

Bobby’s today running his own dance studio, in which he’s working as an instructor, and he also occasionally tours with professional American dancer Elaine Balden.

Education and early life

Bill and Janie Burgess raised their son Bobby in Long Beach, alongside his one older and two younger siblings; Bill was a meat cutter and Janie was a homemaker, making them a middle-class family.

Bobby was only three when he began taking singing and dancing lessons, and was five when he began appearing on TV, by when he had already learned to play the accordion, as well. By the time he was 12, Bobby had already appeared in more than 80 TV shows, singing and dancing. He became a celebrity aged 13, when cast to play one of the Mouseketeers in the family comedy series “The Mickey Mouse Club”, which was created by Walt Disney, while it starred Darlene Gillespie and Sharon Baird. It follows Mickey Mouse as he’s hosting a youth variety show, the series aired from 1955 to 1958, and won a 1957 Golden Globe for Television Achievement, while it was nominated for a 1956 Primetime Emmy for Best Children’s Series.

For his elementary and high school education, Bobby studied at Southern California Military Academy, eventually transferred to Long Beach Polytechnic High School, and matriculated in 1959. Bobby continued his education at Long Beach State University, and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree four years later.

Career after “The Mickey Mouse Club”

Bobby was officially finished with “The Mickey Mouse Club” in 1959, and he then chose to focus on his education. He became a member of the fraternity Sigma Pi while attending Long Beach State University, and continued practicing dancing together with his childhood friend, American professional dancer and former TV personality Barbara Boylan.

The two entered a dance contest as dancing partners, in which people danced to the famous German song “Calcutta”; Bobby and Barbara won it, and appeared “The Lawrence Welk Show”, which aired all around the US on the ABC network. They instantly became popular, and could then have often been seen dancing in the show, either to the song “Calcutta” or to the show’s orchestra’s popular single “Yellow Bird”.

Image source

The two were then hired by Lawrence, becoming the show’s permanent cast members; Bobby continued dancing with Barbara until she left “The Lawrence Welk Show” in 1967, although she was an occasional fill-in dancer for the following three years. He then danced with American singer and professional dancer Cissy King from 1967 to 1978, and with Elaine Baiden from 1979 to 1982, when the show ended.

Bobby concurrently appeared in many other shows, including in five episodes of “The Mike Douglas Show” between 1973 and 1980, and two episodes of “The Merv Griffin Show” in 1973 and 1982. He was featured in the 1990 TV special “Disneyland’s 35th Anniversary Special”, and the 1994 documentary movie “The Wonderful World of Disney: 40 Years of Television Magic”.

In 2010, when “The Lawrence Welk Show” had its re-runs on PBS, Bobby co-hosted several segments, together with American singer and dancer Mary Lou Metzger, while he sang and danced together with both American tap dancer Arthur Duncan, and the late American musician and dancer Lawrence ‘Jack’ Imel.

A couple of Bobby’s most recent appearances have been in the 2015 talk-show “D23: Mickey Mouse Club Celebration”, the 2016 historical movie “Spotlight Disney: Disneyland® Resort 60th Diamond Celebration”, and the 2018 musical family film “Mickey’s 90th Spectacular”.

Acting credits

Bobby has only two acting credits – he played Ernie in the 1958 episode “Mary’s Double Date” of the hit family comedy series “The Donna Reed Show”, created by William Roberts, and which starred Donna Reed, Paul Petersen and Carl Betz. It follows the life of a middle-class mother and wife in the ‘50s and ‘60s, the series aired from 1958 to 1966, and won three of its 13 award nominations, including four Primetime Emmy nominations.

Bobby played Teenager in the 1960 action adventure movie “The Crowded Sky”, directed by Joseph Pevney, and which starred Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. It follows a commercial airplane and a Navy jet, which are about to collide in mid-air.

Other credits

Bobby received special thanks for the 2001 episode “Walt: The Man Behind the Myth” of the adventure comedy series “The Wonderful World of Disney”, and for the 2007 documentary movie “Lawrence Welk’s TV Treasures”.

Wife and children

Bobby hasn’t shared many details concerning his love life with his fans, but it’s well-known that he’s been a married man for the past 50 years. He married Kristie Floren on 14 February 1971, in a ceremony which was attended by most of their family members, and only a couple of friends; Kristie’s also a dancer, and is the daughter of American musician Myron Floren, who worked as an accordionist on “The Lawrence Welk Show”.

Kristie gave birth to their first daughter Becki Jane in 1976, and their first son Robert Floren followed in 1979. Their second daughter Wendi Ellen was born in 1983, and was followed by their second son Brenton Christopher in 1986; the family initially lived in Studio City, California, while Bobby and Kristie are today living in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles.

Bobby hasn’t mentioned other women whom he might had been with prior to meeting Kristie, to whom he’s married as of September 2022, and they have four children.

Image source

Hobbies and other interests

Bobby’s passionate about writing, and co-authored the book “Ears & Bubbles: Dancing my Way” together with Lorraine Santoli, published in July 2014 by Bob McLain Media.

He was quite sporting during his 20s and 30s, as he often played various sports with his friends, including tennis and basketball; he also worked out at the gym two or three times a week, but he no longer works out nowadays.

Thanks to his dancing career, Bobby’s been to more than 100 countries around the world, and although once passionate about travelling, he nowadays prefers staying at his home.

He’s been involved with a couple of non-profit organizations which aim to bring dancing closer to underprivileged children, and to those who might not be able to afford dancing lessons.

Bobby’s favorite actors are Robert De Niro and John Travolta, and some of his favorite films are “Grease”, “Pulp Fiction” and “Saturday Night Fever”.

Height, eyes and net worth

Bobby’s age’s 81. His hair’s brown and eyes are blue, his height’s 5ft 8ins (1.83m) and weighs 167lbs (76kgs).

Bobby’s net worth’s been estimated at over $2.5 million, as of September 2022.

Write A Comment

Pin It