The juggling community has lost one of its living legends, Edoardo Raspini, who passed away on January 11th, 2015, just shy of his 87th birthday. Edoardo Raspini was born January 19th, 1928 to a circus family from the Tuscan area of Italy. His family was best known for their act on freestanding ladders, although his father, Oreste, and mother, Tamara, had been part of a successful club passing troupe, the Four Serbinis. Edoardo joined his parents and formed the 3 Raspinis, doing freestanding ladder, balancing, and juggling.
He also had a sister, Elvira, who assisted him in his juggling act. He began practicing juggling at the age of 7 and by the age of 14 was training 8 hours a day. He eventually performed up to nine rings, five clubs, 8 rings with a head pedestal balance and ring on his ankle, large ball juggling, ball spinning, the Picinelli Finish (the combination trick that Francis Brunn took and added three spun rings to), and various balance tricks. He was quite well known for his charisma, stage presence, and good looks, leading him to be nicknamed the Don Giovanni of Juggling.
In 1962, Raspini became the winner of the first ever Rastelli Trophy presented at the Festival Internationale Die Giocolere (International Festival of Juggling) held in Rastelli’s hometown of Bergamo, Italy. He had a long and distinguished career performing in many of the best circuses, including Circus Knie, the Bertram Mills Circus in England, and a long stint with Circus Krone. He was the favorite juggler of well-known performer Fudi (Zsilak Gyorgy) and was the source of Dan Holzman and Barry Friedman’s Raspyini Brothers team name. Below are fourteen pictures of Edoardo Raspini.