Circus News

Death of Rosa Bouglione, the Matriarch of the French Circus, at 107 Years of Age

Her destiny was linked for nearly 80 years to that of Cirque d’Hiver, which she bought in 1934 with her husband Joseph Bouglione. At age 107, the circus matriarch passed on her love of the circus arts to five generations of descendants.

Born into a family with a carnival menagerie in 1910, Rosalie Van Been fell in love with Joseph Bouglione in 1928, a descendant of Italian bear trainers. The two artists then married in a cage with wild cats, before going on a honeymoon with the legendary troupe Wild West Show mounted by Buffalo Bill in 1904.

In the announcement announcing the death of Rosa Bouglione, her family mentions “55 little, great and great-great grandchildren” to whom she “bequeathed the love of the circus”. All this, not to mention all those who gravitated around the Bouglione family: international artists, stars (Josephine Baker, George Pompidou, Tony Curtis, Maria Callas and Burt Lancaster to name a few), but also the love of the public. First the love of circus was experienced in person, at the Cirque d’Hiver (owned by the family for nearly 80 years), but later even at a distance: after the Second World War, the Bougliones were able to take advantage of a brand new technology, television, to bring their shows in to living rooms via the show “La piste aux étoiles”…

Read the Full Article at France Inter in French