Circus Ring of Fame Wheel Plaque

Bale Family

Inducted into the Ring of Fame: 2003

Circus Profession: Equestrian, Animal Trainers, Aerialists

Bale Family Circus Ring Of Fame Foundation inductees

Edwin Trevor (Tommy) Bale, wife Irene and offspring, Elvin, Dawnita, Bonnie and Gloria constitutes a dynasty in the entertainment world. In addition to the circus, they performed in music hall (vaudeville) using various stage names (see]

After an early childhood touring with European circuses, Bale and his family moved to the United States in the 1950s. Trevor took a job as a tiger trainer with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. As a youngster, Elvin Bale worked as a clown, a dancing boy, a cage boy for his father Trevor’s tiger act, and an acrobat in the family’s bicycle act.

His twin sister, Dawnita; older sister, Gloria; and younger sister, Bonnie, also worked in a variety of family acts in various shows. In the 1960s Bale began working on what would become his signature act, the single trapeze with a “heel catch” finish. Bale’s father appeared as a guest along with Ray Bolger on American Game Show “What’s My Line”.

The Bale family continues to be active in the circus arts to this day.