I stole this post from pusssycat over at ASG. Many thanks to her for finding
NY POST...By ANNA COCK
A new tragedy has struck the high-flying Wallenda circus family with the death
of Steven Wallenda, a celebrated aerialist who had formed his own high-wire
The 50-year-old - described as "a lone wolf" by a relative - died of heart
failure in Tijuana, Mexico, on Saturday.
Members of the legendary family - whose motto is "Life is on the wire. The rest
is just waiting" - heard the sad news from Wallenda's new partner, whom they
know only as Cheryl, late yesterday.
His death comes three years after his ex-wife Angel - a stuntwoman whom
Wallenda plucked out of a crowd at one of his shows - lost a battle with
cancer, aged just 28.
She and Wallenda had a rocky marriage which fell apart as she grew ill, and in
1993 Wallenda attempted suicide while imprisoned on charges of violating a
Other Wallendas were killed in horrific stage accidents, including the collapse
of a five-minute act, the seven-person pyramid, during a 1962 performance in
Two troupe members - Dieter Schepp and Richard Faughan - died when the act went
And in 1978, family patriarch "Karl the Great" Wallenda, then 73, fell 120 feet
to his death during a wire walk in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Although he was a world-record-holding performer, Steve Wallenda was not a
member of the Flying Wallendas, and performed his own acts - including
high-wire walks between skyscrapers, and above canyons.
He grew up in California - a long way from the Sarasota, Fla., family base -
after his parents split soon after his birth.
Cousin Jenny Wallenda, 71, told The Post yesterday news of his death was the
first she had heard of him in more than a year.
"Steven was a lone wolf - he was always on his own," she said.
"He had tried to kill himself, and he was always depressed.
"He took pills for that and I think that's what's done it.
"I guess he took too many pills and his heart let out."
Jenny, a retired member of the Flying Wallandas, said she did not even know
Steven had moved to Mexico.
Speaking from Tehachapi, Calif., Wallenda's uncle, Leon Fort, 63, said his
nephew had a drug problem - which was why he hadn't spoken to him for a couple
The last time Fort saw Wallenda, "he came to visit with Cheryl ... His knee was
out of socket and he needed to be in the hospital and instead he was taking
pills and sleeping all day."
"I don't think he really wanted to live, and in a sense, my heart went out to
him because his father disowned him and he didn't have anybody but me."