The juggling world has lost another well known figure. Donald Lauppe, the son of well known jugglers Gus and Ursula Hill Lauppe, passed away last week. He performed with his parents for many years and was a very talented juggler in his own right.
Donald, Ursuala, and Gus Lauppe
Donald was born on April 12, 1952 and grew up in show business. Below you can see him with his parents and the legendary comedy duo of Laurel and Hardy.
Gus and Ursula with their son Donald and famed comedians Laurel and Hardy
You can see the young family in Homer Stack’s backyard in the following rare photos.
Donald joined the act in 1967. He did ball and mouthstick work, juggled up to 7 rings, did ball spinning, and juggled up to five large balls like his father.
Donald doing a head to head balance with Gus
Donald’s friend, famed juggler Michael Chirrick, reports the following about some of his memories of Donald.
“The first time I remember meeting Gus, Ursula, and Don was around 1963, when they would be in the N.Y / New Jersey area. Don and I were about 12 or 13 years old. They would come to our place from time to time. Gus would drop Don off at our place and he would spend the night. In 1971, my mom (Lottie Brunn), myself and Gus, Ursula, and Don were booked for a 10 day contract in Cincinnati with the Shrine Circus. My mom in the center ring, me on one end, and Gus and Ursula and Don on the other. My Mom came up with the idea to have Don go into my act to even out the display and at the end we all join up in the center ring to do our last trick. It worked really well and the juggling display turned out to be a highlight of the show.”
Donald Lauppe, Lottie Brunn, Gus, Ursula, and Michael Chirrick – 1971
Michael Chirrick, Donald, and Gus
In 1976, the Lauppe Family bought an animal park in Maine, where the couple lived the rest of their lives. Donald decided not to continue as a solo act. For the last several years he had been working in retail in Brunswick, Maine.
Below are two videos of Donald performing with his parents.
Click the following link to see video of Gus, Ursula, and Donald taken in the 1970s. Gus, Ursula and Don
The Museum of Juggling History has a ball used by Donald on display. You can see them below.
Ball juggled by Donald Lauppe
Our condolences go out to Donald’s friends and family. His passing is a loss for the juggling community.