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Joe Bonomo

Joe Bonomo

Joe Bonomo (1901 - 1978) American Stuntman and Actor. After retiring from acting and stunt work, he became a highly successful retail inventory liquidator. Many of the discount bins seen in stores are based on his marketing techniques. He nearly drowned during the filming of Island of Lost Souls (1932) when he fell into a water tank and the foam rubber in his costume soaked up water, causing him to sink. His father Albert Bonomo and brother Victor Bonomo were candy makers. Their best known product was Bonomo Turkish Taffy (The name was simply clever marketing, since the candy was not Turkish, and was really a short nougat). After his retirement in 1970, the company changed hands several times and was eventually sold to Tootise Roll Industries, which stopped manufacturing Bonomo Turkish Taffy in 1989 due to low sales and changing tastes. Candy aficionados proclaim that the brand "French Chew Taffy" comes closest to Bomomo's. In 2010 a new company started producing Bonomo Turkish Taffy again. His fame as a body builder led his creating a line of books on health and physical fitness. This was later expanded into a series of 64 page pamphlets on such topics as self-esteem, using cosmetics, safety, dancing, simplifying housework, etc. A pamphlet he wrote about drugs was entitled "Don't Be A Dope", and one entitled "What I Know About Women" contained 64 blank pages. Bonomo was a friend and contemporary of famous muscleman Charles Atlas. Bonomo and Atlas were running neck and neck in the "World's Most Perfectly Developed Man" contest when Bonomo was forced to bow out due to an injury he sustained while doing a movie stunt. Atlas went on to win the contest and it was because of that contest that Atlas gained most of his fame. Bonomo is most famous as the first actors to play "Tarzan".


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