Ben Williams

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Revision as of 02:31, 2 November 2008 by Reichorn (Talk | contribs) (Fairly extensive edits throughout)

Elephant Trainer

By Dominique Jando

Ben Williams was born in Fort Worth, Texas, the son of aerialistAny acrobat working above the ring on an aerial equipment such as trapeze, Roman Rings, Spanish web, etc. Barbara May and elephant trainer Rex Williams. When Barbara married another elephant trainer, the legendary Bill “Buckles” Woodcock, Ben began working with Buckles's star elephant, Anna May. He was six years old. Eventually, Buckles and Barbara Woodcock helped Ben develop a fast-paced duet with Anna May, to which Barbara added a leopard named Odin.

Like the rest of the Woodcock family, Ben has worked in all major American circuses. In 1978-79, he was featured with Anna May in the 108th edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show On Earth. In 1982-83, Ben Williams and Anna May were featured in the Big Apple Circus's second holiday season at Lincoln Center, inaugurating a long association between that circus and the Woodcock family.

Williams, with Anna May and other Woodcock elephants, subsequently performed with the Big Apple Circus in several productions through 1994. Starting in 1989, his presentations often included his wife, Darlene, a former Ringling showgirl, and their two daughters, Stormy and Skye. A short time after his final engagement with the Big Apple Circus, Ben retired from performing, and he and his family left the circus.

See Also