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Shields and Yarnell is an Americanmarker mime team, formed in 1972, consisting of Robert Shields (born March 26, 1951) and Lorene Yarnell (born March 21, 1948).

Shields was born in Los Angelesmarker, and at the age of 18, had developed a resilient character while working as a street mime. He was performing at the Hollywood Wax Museummarker when he was seen by Marcel Marceau, who offered Shields a full scholarship to his school of mime in Parismarker. Shields, however soon returned to California, working in Union Square, San Franciscomarker. He has been called one of the city's top tourist attractions.

Lorene Yarnell (also a native Angelino) had become a tap dancer and actress in television shows and off-Broadway musicals before she met the clown, Shields, in San Francisco.

The Shields and Yarnell comedy act originated in their partnership. Their specialty was taking on the personae of robots, with many individual, deliberate motions (as opposed to normal smooth motion) stereotypical of robots and early animatronics, enhanced by their ability to refrain from blinking their eyes for long stretches of time. They called themselves The Clinkers.

Their dance and mime performances were featured in 1977-78 on their own CBS television comedy-variety program, The Shields and Yarnell Show. They appeared on 400 national television shows in the US, including The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, The Red Skelton Show, The Muppet Show (1979), and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. They performed in the unsuccessful Broadway Follies in New York Citymarker, but career highlights included shows for two American Presidents and Queen Elizabeth II, and a tour of China with comedian Bob Hope.

Their TV special Toys On The Town, written by Shields, earned an Emmy.

They won an award as Las Vegasmarker "Entertainer of the Year," dual Georgies for "Rising Stars of the Year" and "Special Attraction of the Year" from the American Guild of Variety Artists.

Shields and Yarnell were married in 1972 and divorced in 1986. Shields opened a jewelry and art business in Sedona, Arizonamarker, and Yarnell is based in Norwaymarker. they still reunite periodically to tour with their act.

Yarnell appeared in the 1987 Mel Brooks movie Spaceballs as the body of the robot Dot Matrix. Joan Rivers provided the voice for the character.

In 2002, Shields met Laurie Burke, a widely renowned singer-songwriter in Sedona, and the two were married on September 25, 2006. Burke was diagnosed with a brain tumor the next spring, and died April 25.


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