Wednesday, January 31, 2007

From Bill Hall

1970 & 1975 photos of France's Cirque Bouglione Trainer Catherine
Blankart posted on your 1/28/07 blog, I tried answering inquiries by P.
White & others, but for some reason it didn't take. Thus, this e-mail:
it was early, July, 1969, when Blankart was working a cage act of male
lions in the Cirque d'Hiver bldg., Paris, as part of a Circus Hall of
Fame Awards TV Special being filmed & produced by America's Joe Cates.
When the lions began fighting among themselves, & the situation
worsened, the Bougliones brought in a fire hose to part the combatants,
who were able to exit the big cage into their mobile dens. It was
reported that 2 lions were so severely mauled that they died or had to
be put down backstage. Actor Tony Curtis was host emcee for the show, &
I was there as part of the Cates team & witnessed the entire cage mayhem.

Cates decided to keep the sequence in the telecast, with Curtis, I
believe, saying, on camera, that the lion fight was an example of circus
dangers. He also reported that the fight resulted in the act's demise,
which I would question since your blog showed Blankart, a Swiss trainer,
I was told, with a 1970 group of male lions, similar to what she had in
'69 for the TV special.

As to Pat White, several years ago, when she worked lions/tigers with
Carson & Barnes Circus, we engaged her act for an extended winter
engagement, produced by Kenneth Feld, for Disneyland, California.
Kenneth told us that just before the run began, Pat told him something
to the effect, "I might not be Gunther Gebel-Williams, but I'm not
bad." She did just fine at thru the entire Disneyland run until leaving
in early March to rejoin Carson & Barnes for a new season.

Thank you for your considerations. -- Bill Hall

Bill Hall Entertainment And Events
Talent Consultants - Producers - Specialists

138 Frog Hollow Road
Churchville, PA 18966-1031


Anonymous said...

Mr. Hall: Thank you for the information on Catherine Blankart. It is greatly appreciated.

Also, thanks for remembering the Disneyland date. It was a great deal of fun, and my comment to Mr. Feld still holds true.