America says good-bye to a beloved performer and circus owner.
Gertrude “Struppi” Hanneford died on November 1, 2014. She was the owner and producer of the Royal Hanneford Circus, which operates two full-time performing units that tour arenas, one touring tent show, and two permanent shows in theme parks in America. Although Struppi was not born into a circus family, she was drawn to acrobatics from an early age and began training on trapeze at age seven in her native Germany. She also studied ballet, diving, and gymnastics before launching her career with a duo act while still in her teens. In 1953, she moved to the United States to work with Mills Brothers Circus, in which she performed on double trapeze and web and presented a trained dog act. The following year, she met Tommy Hanneford, a comic horse rider from a family that has been performing in circuses in England and America since the 1700s. She left her duo act to join her new husband and developed an Indian maiden-themed solo trapeze act. In addition to performing i...
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