Achille Zavatta (May 6, 1915 – November 16, 1993)
Achille Zavatta was one of the most famous French clowns, as well as an artist, composer, and circus operator.
He was born in La Goulette, Tunisia, the son of Federico Zavatta, a circus owner — part of a long line of circus performers. He started performing in his family’s circus show at the age of three, forming the Zavatta Trio with his brothers Michel and Rolph. Achille Zavatta was the interval act at the 1962 Eurovision Song Contest in Luxemburg. To this day the Zavatta Circus tours France and surrounding countries. The circus is rated as a top show in France.
He became famous for his skills as a pantomime, and excelled in acrobatics, horseback riding, music and comedy. In the 1960’s, he made over 600 appearances on a circus television program.
In 1978, Achille Zavatta formed his own touring circus. He retired in 1992, due to financial difficulties, and declared bankruptcy in 1993. Nearly blind and suffering from kidney disease, Achille Zavatta committed suicide in 1999 in Ouzouer des Champs, Loiret. He was interred in the Pére Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. His sons have resurrected his circus as Zavatta Sons, since another circus has bought the rights to the name Achille Zavatta Circus.
Books by Achille Zavatta
- Viva Zavatta
- 30 years of Cirque
Bibliography of Achille Zavatta