CLASS OF 2017 – INDUCTION, JANUARY 14, 2017, 2:00 PM
Santa Monica born in 1929, raised on Muscle Beach, Reggie honed his acrobatic skills, did a stint in the Coast Guard and then stunt work in films. At 22, he joined the circus doing trampoline and teeterboard on major shows, and by 28 fell in love with trapeze, becoming one of the greatest flyers of all time. He consistently performed the triple, perfected a “full twisting double double”, and in 1973 started doing a three and a half. He was considered by many the most gracious and elegant flyer ever, and had a career beyond performing in show management and marketing.
DORA FOSTER “ROGANA”
Born into a circus family, Dora and her sisters appeared on the rolling globes. Eventually, Bertram Mills director Cyril Mills was able to recreate an apparatus for a new act for Dora, in which she ascended a swaying ladder, holding in her mouth a dagger, on the tip of which she balanced a sword, tip-to-tip. She made her debut with this act in 1963 on Bertram Mills tent show, and appeared in European circuses and other venues before coming to America in 1969 for RBBB through 1971 and on Circus Vargas 1974-75. She was featured in The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies.
HENRY RINGLING NORTH
Along with his brother, Ring of Fame Inductee John Ringling North, he was co-owner of the RBBB show from 1936-1967, overseeing much of the management of the circus, and acted as consultant to the show after its sale to the Felds. He deferred the showmanship part of the business to John. Henry served in the Navy during WWII, earning a Silver Star. He is credited with naming one of Ringling’s biggest attractions, Gargantua. He became an Irish citizen in the 60’s. His son, John Ringling North II, is owner and operator of the Kelly Miller Circus, a favorite of American circus fans to this day. He hopes his father’s legacy will be remembered in the Ring of Fame.
Following WWII, Rudolf Mootz and Gerda Meyer, along with Willie and Peter Mootz and Beppo Wallenda formed the Pedrolas Troupe. It was a complete show with high and low wires, aerial cradle, slide for life, contortionist and musical clowns. Eventually, Rudolf and Gerda wed and continued performing as a cradle duo, and became parents of Dagmar, who debuted at age five as the youngest wire walker. They appeared on shows in Norway, Denmark and Austria, before coming to the US in 1958 for the Mills Brothers Circus. They were with several shows over the years, including Beatty Cole, Sells & Gray, Hoxie, Circus Hall of Fame, Tom Packs, Polack and others. A special affinity for anything Mexican led Rudolf to nickname himself Pedro, which led to assuming the stage name – “Pedrolas”.
Bloom worked with the Felds during the concertdays prior to their ownership of the Ringling show. He was Senior Vice President for Ringling and Feld Entertainment from 1967 on, doing the booking and promotions for its attractions. During his tenure he created the extraordinary Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey marketing and tour strategy, and is revered by the industry as the “Godfather” of modern, live event marketing. He was honored as the “Pioneer of Sports and Entertainment” by the University of South Carolina College of Sports and Entertainment.
Circus animals are considered stars of the show aS well as their trainers, and in keeping with our new endeavors to honor them, the wonderful High School horse Starless Night will be inducted. Trained and presented for many seasons by the famous Capt. Wiliam Heyer, she appeared in several circuses, fairs, etc. and with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey and is seen in the parade in the movie “The Greatest Show on Earth”. This is an opportunity to honor, not only Starless Night, but many of the beautiful equine stars of circuses.