Wednesday, June 10, 2020



Roger Smith said...

Harriett and Clyde Beatty, with the 2 cats she had riding the original Anna May. The act premiered with Cole Bros. & Clyde Beatty, in 1936. The tigress is Primba and the lion is Simba. He was found later to be going blind, and was retired.

The occasion was the photo-op for the big ad campaign for the '37 Studebaker. Story goes, the Beattys' pay was this new car itself. 1937 is agreed by Dave Price and I as Beatty's zenith season. When the show played the great old Hippodrome, in NYC, Beatty made the March 29 cover of TIME Magazine. That, and Bill Johnston saw him twice in Chicago that year, both times counting 43 mixed lions and tigers in Beatty's act. That season marked the 2nd time Beatty had achieved The Big Act, the only trainer to do it twice. This is not to overlook Captain Terrell Jacobs, who for the 1939 Ringling show, worked his act of between 35 and 52 mixed cats. My source for the count is his daughter, Judy Jacobs Kaye.