Unus was one of the top-billed performers of Ringling Bros. Barnum Bailey circus. An article with photos appears in an issue of Life magazine from the late 40’s or early 50’s. He retired from circus life in the early to mid 50’s. Many remember his ability to stand on one finger, extended from a gloved hand… and then, with theatrical gestures and back on his feet, slowly remove the glove to the amazement of all who were sure, a few minutes earlier, that he had some piece of wood or other artifical aid to enable him to do his finger-stand.
Franz Furtner was born in Gainfarn, Austria in 1909, and married his wife Valentina in Vienna in 1935, just before coming to America. I think she is still alive, possibly living in Sarasota? Their daughter Victoria (artist’s name La Toia) later starred on the vertical cord, a premier to the now standard routine ending in a multiple wrist or neck spin.
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