Dorothy Herbert (1910- 1994) was a circus performer. She started her career with Duffield’s performance horse troupe in AZ in 1925 but became a real star when she joined Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1930.
When she started her career she was forbidden to trick ride because it was considered to be “unladylike” behavior, but as her career progressed she expanded her act to include a number of daring stunts — her lay backs on rearing horses were a signature move but she also rode Roman style with a foot on the back of each horse, and jumped over a flaming 5′ jump.
Over the years she was featured on 8 circus posters as well as in ads for Camel cigarettes and Wheaties cereal. She was so popular that Ringling Brothers sent her to acting school and she had a supporting role in the the movie “The
Mysterious Dr. Satan” and the TV series “Dr. Satan” in which she performed trick acts with her horse.
In addition to her riding, Dorothy created the first circus newspaper.
You’ve gotta love her. She looks like a real dare devil and a woman who lived life on her own terms — even if they were a bit unladylike at times!