The Most Famous Circus Performer: A Ranking of Legendary Talent

Choose the artist you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Oct 2, 2023 10:52
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, to the most dazzling display of the most famous circus performers of all time! We at StrawPoll are excited to present to you a spectacular ranking that will leave you spellbound and breathless. Witness the gravity-defying acrobats, the mesmerizing magicians, and the fearless fire-eaters who have captivated audiences across the globe. Cast your vote for the most awe-inspiring artist or suggest a missing maestro whose talents deserve recognition. Hurry, the show is about to begin, and your voice will help determine who takes the center stage in this thrilling extravaganza of legendary circus performers. So, roll up your sleeves and prepare to be enchanted, for the greatest show on the internet is just a click away!

Who Is the Most Famous Circus Performer? (October 2023)

  1. 1
    P.T. Barnum - considered the father of modern circus, known for his elaborate shows and promotion of oddities.
    P.T. Barnum in other rankings
  2. 2
    The Flying Wallendas is a family of acrobats known for their high-wire acts and death-defying stunts.
    The Flying Wallendas in other rankings
  3. 3
    Emmett Kelly
    Pan American Coffee Bureau · Public domain
    Emmett Kelly is a clown known for his sad-faced hobo character "Weary Willie".
    Emmett Kelly in other rankings
  4. 4
    Clyde Beatty
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    Clyde Beatty is a lion tamer who popularized the "mixed animal act" where different species of animals performed together.
  5. 5
    The Great Gama - an Indian wrestler who was undefeated in over 5,000 matches and known for his incredible strength.
  6. 6
    Miss La La
    Unidentified photographer · Public domain
    Miss La La is a trapeze artist who was famously painted by Edgar Degas and known for her incredible feats of strength and grace.
  7. 7
    Gunther Gebel-Williams is a renowned animal trainer who worked with big cats and elephants and was known for his spectacular shows.
  8. 8
    Barnum & Bailey Circus - the largest and most famous circus in history, known for its elaborate shows and stunts.
  9. 9
    Lillian Leitzel is a trapeze artist who was known for her incredible strength and aerial feats, including a signature move where she hung by her teeth.
    Lillian Leitzel in other rankings
  10. 10

    Tom Thumb

    Bob Cullum
    Tom Thumb is a performer with dwarfism who was a major attraction in P.T. Barnum's shows and became a celebrity in his own right.
    Tom Thumb is a popular grocery store chain in Texas known for its wide selection of high-quality food products and excellent customer service. With over 60 locations across the state, Tom Thumb offers a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience for its customers.
    • Number of Locations: Over 60
    • Product Selection: Wide range of high-quality food products
    • Customer Service: Excellent
    • Convenience: Offers a convenient shopping experience
    • Quality: Known for providing high-quality products
    Tom Thumb in other rankings

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Ranking factors for famous circus performer

  1. Skill and Talent
    The performers' abilities and their expertise in their respective fields, such as acrobatics, juggling, aerial acts, etc., can be considered.
  2. Legacy and Impact
    The performers' impact on the history and evolution of the circus industry can be considered, including their contributions to the development and popularization of new acts.
  3. Popularity and Notoriety
    The performers' fame and recognition both within and beyond the circus community, as well as their cultural influence and significance.
  4. Longevity and Durability
    The performers' endurance and perseverance over the course of their careers, including their ability to adapt and stay relevant over time.
  5. Innovation and Creativity
    Whether the performers introduced new acts, combined disparate disciplines into new forms of entertainment, or were simply known for doing something truly unique, creativity and innovation in performance are a key factor to consider.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous circus performer. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite artist is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 168 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each artist once every 24 hours. The rank of each artist is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous circus performer

Circus performances have been a popular form of entertainment for centuries, and the performers who make them possible have become celebrities in their own right. From acrobats to clowns, there are countless performers who have dazzled audiences with their skills and showmanship. But who among them can be considered the most famous circus performer of all time? While there are many contenders for this title, one name that immediately comes to mind is P.T. Barnum, the legendary showman who founded the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Barnum was a master of publicity and promotion, and he helped elevate circus performers to a level of fame and recognition that they had never before experienced. Among his most famous acts were the "Bearded Lady" and the "Siamese Twins", who both became well-known figures in their own right. Other famous circus performers include the acrobat and aerialist Philippe Petit, who gained fame for his high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974, and the clown Emmett Kelly, whose sad-faced character "Weary Willie" captured the hearts of audiences around the world. Ultimately, the question of who is the most famous circus performer is a matter of personal opinion. Each performer brings their own unique talents and personality to the stage, and it is the combination of these factors that makes them stand out in the minds of their fans. Whether you prefer the daring feats of the acrobats or the comedic antics of the clowns, there is no denying the enduring popularity and fascination of the circus and