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Famed circus family buys Siegfried & Roy’s Jungle Palace

Updated March 10, 2023 - 4:41 pm

The circus continues at the Siegfried & Roy mansion in Las Vegas.

The family that founded the Carden International Circus has purchased the S&R Jungle Palace, family rep Wally Eastwood announced Friday morning.

If that name seems familiar, it should. Eastwood is a decadeslong performer on the Strip, as the juggling emcee of “V — The Ultimate Variety Show” at V Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. Eastwood’s time in Vegas dates to 1987,when he was featured in “Splash” at the Riviera.

Eastwood is the cousin of Carden Circus founder George Carden and his son, Brett Carden. The elder Carden was recently inducted into the Circus Ring Of Fame. As he celebrated, he learned the Las Vegas home of Siegfried & Roy was on the market and might be torn down to make room for an apartment complex.

“Let’s just say, he was livid!” Brett Carden said in a statement Friday. George Carden is not just a Hall of Fame Circus performer himself, but a longtime friend of Siegfried and Roy.

The family paid the $3 million sales price listed this week on the Zillow real-estate site.

The mansion was built in 1954. The 8,750-square-foot property at 1639 Valley Drive had two bedrooms, four baths, an outdoor fountain, custom stained glass, skylights, a jacuzzi, bird sanctuary, animal enclosures, electric gates, guest house and a cabana.

The Carden Circus is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri. George Carden lives in the circus hotbed of Sarasota, Florida.

Upon hearing the property was listed, Brett Carden called his father, who was already on the case, in contact with Eastwood in Vegas. Within an hour of that conversation, Eastwood had a check for the full sales price in hand and the property was sold.

The transaction is scheduled to close on March 22.

“After the whirlwind of emotion, we could finally breathe a sigh of relief,” Brett Carden said. He added that the family shares S&R’s love for exotic animals. His wife, Cathy Carden, is the only female to perform solo with the elephants in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. She has also performed with the liberty horses and dogs.

Suffice to say, operations at the estate are a family venture.

Eastwood has worked with Alexandra Carden, wife of George Carden, for the past 15 years, to develop large-scale productions. She is a costume designer who plans to re-create Siegfried and Roy’s wardrobe for visitors to the mansion. And Wally’s daughter Kellie Eastwood is a choreographer and audio engineer.

Eastwood says plans for how to create a post S&R scene while honoring the duo are “up in the air at the moment.” But the estate will retain its Jungle Palace design.

“Absolutely, that’s the main goal, to preserve that property,” Eastwood said in a text. “We want it to look just like it did when they lived in it.”

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John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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