Frederic Franklin experienced his initial taste of Jacob's Pillow in 1935, when he attended a performance by Ted Shawn & His Men Dancers in London. He first visited the Pillow six years later in 1941, during the summer it was under the direction of his ballet star friends Anton Dolin and Alicia Markova (when he was photographed at left by Hans Knopf). He would return to perform several times more from the 1940s to 1960, often partnering Alexandra Danilova. Other than the isolated 1973 season when he was here as the director of Washington's National Ballet, he wouldn't be back until 2004. But that visit launched a true renaissance of his Pillow connections, encompassing two memorable PillowTalks, introducing a screening of the Ballets Russes
documentary in which he starred, and a charming interview for Ron Honsa's Pillow documentary, Never Stand Still: Dancing at Jacob's Pillow
. He and longtime partner Bill Ausman were proudly present for the New York premiere of this film in 2012. His non-Pillow achievements are too numerous to summarize, but they encompass everything from dancing in Paris revues with Josephine Baker and Mistinguette at 17 to character roles with American Ballet Theatre when he was well into his 90s. An extraordinary personality to the very end, Franklin died in his Manhattan apartment in May 2013, a month before his 99th birthday.