Juggling Hall of Fame

Rudy Horn


I never did 7 rings for less than 5 times through, or 35 throws, because otherwise it's not really juggling.
Cup stacking One Christmas Eve 1940, during World War II, in Nuernberg, Germany, Rudy Horn's father placed three apples from a kitchen bowl into his seven year old son's hands and encouraged him to try juggling them. Horn gave his first performance two years later in the Wintergarten. During the five years following the war, he entertained the U.S. troops in Germany. Payment was mostly cigarettes and chocolate which he traded for food, since the Reichmark was worthless.

He could build a stack of tea cups and saucers on his head by kicking them up from his foot. Another trademark trick was force bouncing seven balls off a drum. In 1949, Horn began a three year stay with Circus Krone. He managed to find a unicycle owned by the high-wire act, and within a week he could ride it. By combining his unicycle with the tea cups, he became very well known, very quickly.

Drum bounce Horn was booked by the Bertram Mills Circus in England, as well as London's Olympia Hall, Savoy, and Palladium. He was offered an entire year at the Lido in Paris. In America was a smash on the Ed Sullivan Show, appearing four times. He played in Las Vegas, Reno, Chicago, and San Francisco, returning to Europe in 1955.

During the next decades, Horn thrilled audiences all over the world with his juggling and comedy. He received the Bundesverdienstkreuz from the German government (an award for high achievement) and in 1973 he won Rastelli award. In 1975, he retired to Bertchesgaden, in the Bavarian Alps, and took up a second career as a tennis coach.

In his career Rudy worked with many great stars. Here are photographs of him with some of these great performers in A Rudy Horn Scrapbook.

Here's an amusing description of how Rudi was hired by Bertram Mills Circus, from the book "Sawdust and Spotlight".

Rastelli award Bob Brock wrote two wonderful articles on Rudy for the IJA Newsletter after visiting him in Las Vegas in 1964. The first is called A Biography of Rudy Horn and is a good account of Rudy's early career. It appeared in the October 1964 edition of the IJA Newsletter.

Bob Brock's second article, The Phenomenal Rudy Horn was printed in the January 1965 edition of the IJA Newsletter. It contains a detailed account of Horn's Las Vegas act, as well as in interview with him.

An article on Rudy Horn, with an interview by Sandy Brown was published in Juggler's World, Vol. 39, No. 3, Fall 1987. There's a good description of his act, as well as more information on his career and approach to juggling. (This is a more complete version of the interview than was published in JW.)

In celebration of Rudy's 60th birthday in 1993, Kaskade published this article, which describes his 60th birthday party.


"Juggling, the Art and its Artists"
by Karl-Heinz Ziethen and Andrew Allen, Berlin 1985. ISBN 3-9801140-1-5.

The Juggling Hall of Fame is maintained for the Juggling Information Service by Andrew Conway. Comments and suggestions to fame@juggling.org. Thanks to Michael Horn and Mary Wilkins for their help in preparing this page.

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