Beloved Circus Fat Lady, 'Alice From Dallas Dies

 

Death came Friday November 25, 1955  10a.m. in a Dallas hospital to one of the most beloved women in show business.  Mrs. Frank T. Julian, of 626 North Jester, Mrs. Julian the former Mary Alice Wade, was the famous "Alice from Dallas" fat lady for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus for almost 30 years.

 

Mrs. Julian was 62, Relatives said she had been dieting, was down to 425 pounds, at the time of her death.  At the peak of her 30-year career in show business she weighed 685 pounds, according to the sideshow signs, and she measured six feet around the midriff.

 

Mrs. Julian and her husband a former tattooed man for the Ringling circus, has been retired for about 10 years.

 

She was the champion fat lady of all time." said her husband.   "There was never a fat lady with the weight, personality and showmanship of Alice."

 

Show people loved her for her modesty ways and her fine sweet face.  In their early days of show business, on long cold rides in chair cars, the younger midgets would sometimes crawl up in Alice's lap and go to sleep.  In Alice's albums are dozens of letters from celebrities of the past like Jack Dempsey who knew and admired her.

 

Mrs. Julian was born in Wylie, Collin County.  Her family moved to Dallas in 1905 and she went to public schools here.  She was a 450 pounder with a comparatively small pretty face and 20 years old when she signed a contract with the Sells-Floto Circus.

 

She met Frank Julian after she joined Ringling Brothers soon after World War I.  Julian who is now 76 and ailing, is a strong Republican and he has the tattooed like images of U.S. presidents on his body with Republicans chief executives getting the favored locations.

 

Besides her incredible, poundage and warm personality, Alice was amazingly lithe for a circus fat woman.

 

"I've seen her walk a mile or more, from the circus grounds to the train, keeping stride with the giant and the thin man." said Frank Julian, "She kept everyone happy with her cheerful ways She was the greatest."

 

Besides her husband, Mrs. Julian, is survived by one sister, Mrs. A. C. Care of Dallas: two brothers Ed Wade of Dallas, and A. T. Wade of Irving and a number of nieces and nephews.  Funeral services are pending at Ed. C. Smith & Bros., 4183 Swiss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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