US

Jenny Wallenda, matriarch of internationally famous circus family, dies at 87 after illness

  • FILE - In this Jan. 24, 1964 file photo, Jenny Wallenda, a member of the famous Wallenda high wire act, applies makeup in a dressing room prior to appearing at opening of the Shrine Circus in Detroit. Wallenda, the matriarch of the famous family of high-flying circus performers, died late Saturday, April 4, 2015, at her home in Sarasota, Fla., according to family members. She was 87. (AP Photo/Alvan Quinn, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 24, 1964 file photo, Jenny Wallenda, a member of the famous Wallenda high wire act, applies makeup in a dressing room prior to appearing at opening of the Shrine Circus in Detroit. Wallenda, the matriarch of the famous family of high-flying circus performers, died late Saturday, April 4, 2015, at her home in Sarasota, Fla., according to family members. She was 87. (AP Photo/Alvan Quinn, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 24, 1964 file photo, Karl Wallenda, center left, and his daughter Jenny, center right, wait on sideline with troupe members Louis Murillo, left, and Andy Anderson, before performing a high wire act at the opening of the Shrine Circus in Detroit. Jenny Wallenda, the matriarch of the famous family of high-flying circus performers, died late Saturday, April 4, 2015, at her home in Sarasota, Fla., according to family members. She was 87. (AP Photo/Alvan Quinn, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 24, 1964 file photo, Karl Wallenda, center left, and his daughter Jenny, center right, wait on sideline with troupe members Louis Murillo, left, and Andy Anderson, before performing a high wire act at the opening of the Shrine Circus in Detroit. Jenny Wallenda, the matriarch of the famous family of high-flying circus performers, died late Saturday, April 4, 2015, at her home in Sarasota, Fla., according to family members. She was 87. (AP Photo/Alvan Quinn, File)  (The Associated Press)

Jenny Wallenda, matriarch of the internally famous family of high-flying circus performers, has died. She was 87.

Wallenda's nephew, Rick Wallenda, said his aunt died late Saturday at her home in Sarasota, Florida following a lengthy illness.

Wallenda was the oldest daughter of high wire walker Karl Wallenda and grandmother of daredevil performer Nik Wallenda.

Jenny Wallenda's husband, Richard Faughnan, died in 1962 when a human pyramid collapsed. Karl Wallenda fell to his death in 1978.