Betty Fox Above the Fort Shelby Hotel


1945To get a bird’s-eye view of the city, you don’t necessarily have to be equipped with wings. Betty Fox, part of the aerialist/skydancing team of Benny and Betty Fox, fearlessly executes one of her famous “split jumps” high above downtown Detroit in this circa-1945 photo. It’s difficult to see, but there’s a platform under her, extending from the beam. The couple’s perch (left) is the roof of the Fort Shelby Hotel (now the Doubletree Guest Suites Detroit Downtown — Fort Shelby). The thoroughfare below is Fort Street; the low building in the foreground is The Detroit Club. The Foxes took their lofty daredevil act to cities around the country, and the most exciting part occurred when they danced on an 18-inch-wide disc, culminating in the “death whirl,” in which Betty would wrap her legs around Benny’s waist and he’d rotate like a banshee, thrilling the heart-thumping crowd below.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Mustang Fever!

The iconic 'pony car' marks its 50th anniversary

Earth Tones: Recycling Latex Paint

The Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recover Authority (SOCRRA) has teamed with Battle Creek-based ePaint Recycling to help divert latex paint from the waste stream.

Bigger Than Ever

Former 'underground party' now fills the Masonic Temple.

Is it Time for a New Nickname for 'The Wolverine State'?

Despite our moniker and U-M’s mascot, ‘The Wolverine State’ seems to be weasel words

Wall to Wall Art

Park West Gallery and Dearborn's The Henry team up to decorate a 'boutique' hotel
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. An Animated Life
    As Rob Paulsen prepares to publish his memoir, the Hollywood veteran and voice behind some of the...
  2. An Hour With ... Teddy Dorsette III
    President, Detroit Black Deaf Advocates
  3. State of the Arts
  4. Gold Standard
    Tucked into an industrial strip in Ann Arbor, a new restaurant offers French fare
  5. A New Noodle Shop on the Block
    Midtown Detroit welcomes Urban Ramen
  6. In Tune
    Influenced by its storied past, Willis Show Bar sets the tone for a nostalgic sound
  7. Drink Beer, Do Good
    Local breweries and pubs jump on the charity bandwagon
  8. Business Class
    Trim suits, creative layers, and crisp white shirts - Fall's wardrobe essentials are fitting for...
  9. Recipe: Roast Boneless Pork Loin With Tart Cherry Chutney
    Executive chef at Ford’s Garage, Darin Thompson’s boneless pork loin marvel
  10. Meet the Makers: Sydney James
    For muralist Sydney James, the city of Detroit is her canvas. Matters of the country are her muse