Carla Wallenda, member of famed high-wire act, dies at 85

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Carla Wallenda, a member of “The Flying Wallendas” high-wire act and the final surviving youngster of the famed troupe’s founder, has died on the age of 85.

Her son, Rick Wallenda, stated on social media she died Saturday in Sarasota, Florida, of pure causes. She was the daughter of Karl Wallenda, who had based the troupe in Germany earlier than transferring to the USA in 1928 to nice acclaim. She was the aunt of aerialist Nik Wallenda.

Carla Wallenda was born on Feb. 13, 1936, and appeared in a newsreel in 1939 as she discovered the way to stroll the wire, together with her father and mom, Mati, trying on. However she stated her first time on the wire was a lot earlier.

“Really, they carried me throughout the wire once I was 6 weeks previous,” she stated in a 2017interview with a Sarasota TV station. “My father rode the bicycle and my mom sat on his shoulders, holding me and introducing me to the general public.”

She spent her youthful years touring the nation as her father’s troupe carried out within the Ringling Bros. circus. She had a brother, Mario, and a sister, Jenny — all carried out within the act.

She started showing within the household’s present in 1947, however not on the excessive wire at first, in keeping with her biography on the household’s web site. In 1951, her father instructed her she might be a part of the high-wire act if she might do a headstand on prime of the household’s seven-person pyramid. She was capable of be a part of the high-wire act later that yr.

Carla Wallenda left the household act in 1961 to kind her personal troupe. The subsequent season, two of the Wallendas have been killed in an accident whereas performing the pyramid. Her brother was paralyzed.

Wallenda rejoined the household troupe in 1965, changing an aunt who died doing a solo act.

Her husband, Richard Guzman, died in 1972 when he fell 60 ft (about 18 meters) throughout a efficiency in West Virginia. Her father died in 1978, falling whereas strolling a wire throughout a avenue in Puerto Rico.

Nonetheless, she wouldn’t be deterred from performing.

“Accidents can occur anyplace,” she instructed theSarasota Herald-Tribune in 2014. “I’ve to make a dwelling and that is the one manner I do know or wish to. I’ve completed waitress work and hated each minute of it. Why ought to I’m going and do a job that I hate?”

She labored by her 70s, together with in a Miley Cyrus music video. She lastly retired in 2017 on the age of 81 after showing on a Steve Harvey TV particular, doing a headstand atop a 80-foot sway pole.

“When I’m on the market, all of my ache and all that goes away and I’m in a world of my very own,” she stated within the 2017 TV interview.

She is survived by her son, two daughters, Rietta Wallenda Jordan and Valerie Wallenda, and 16 grandchildren. A second son, Mario, died in 1993.

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