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

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Carla Wallenda, a member of “The Flying Wallendas” high-wire act and the very last surviving little one of the famed troupe’s founder, has died at the age of 85.

Her son, Rick Wallenda, stated on social media she died Saturday in Sarasota, Florida, of natural brings about. She was the daughter of Karl Wallenda, who had launched the troupe in Germany just before shifting to the United States in 1928 to great 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 acquired how to stroll the wire, with her father and mom, Mati, seeking on. But she explained her 1st time on the wire was much previously.

“Actually, they carried me throughout the wire when I was 6 months outdated,” she said in a 2017 job interview with a Sarasota Television station. “My father rode the bicycle and my mom sat on his shoulders, keeping me and introducing me to the public.”

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She spent her young several years touring the place as her father’s troupe executed in the Ringling Bros. circus. She had a brother, Mario, and a sister, Jenny — all done in the act.

She began appearing in the family’s clearly show in 1947, but not on the superior wire at initially, in accordance to her biography on the family’s web site. In 1951, her father instructed her she could join the large-wire act if she could do a headstand on top rated of the family’s 7-particular person pyramid. She was able to join the higher-wire act afterwards that calendar year.

Carla Wallenda remaining the household act in 1961 to kind her possess troupe. The upcoming time, two of the Wallendas have been killed in an accident though undertaking the pyramid. Her brother was paralyzed.

Wallenda rejoined the spouse and children troupe in 1965, replacing an aunt who died performing a solo act.

Her husband, Richard Guzman, died in 1972 when he fell 60 toes (about 18 meters) throughout a performance in West Virginia. Her father died in 1978, slipping though strolling a wire across a road in Puerto Rico.

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However, she would not be deterred from carrying out.

“Accidents can take place anyplace,” she advised the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in 2014. “I have to make a residing and this is the only way I know or want to. I have finished waitress get the job done and hated every single moment of it. Why need to I go and do a task that I despise?”

She worked by means of her 70s, which includes in a Miley Cyrus music video. She last but not least retired in 2017 at the age of 81 right after showing up on a Steve Harvey Tv set exclusive, carrying out a headstand atop a 80-foot sway pole.

“When I am out there, all of my suffering and all that goes away and I am in a earth of my possess,” she reported in the 2017 Tv set 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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