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FAYARD NICHOLAS PASSED AWAY
8:20PM PST, JANUARY 24, 2006,
PEACEFULLY AT HOME SURROUNDED BY HIS WIFE AND MANY FRIENDS. (details)


BACKGROUND OF THE FUND

DEDICATED TO DANCERS EVERYWHERE
Whose Lives Have Been Touched The Nicholas Brothers.

PURPOSE OF THE FUND:
To Say "Thank You, Fayard"

After legendary tap dancer, Fayard Nicholas, suffered a stroke on November 22, 2005, I set up an emergency relief fund for dancers and dance fans to help one of the most beloved dancers of all time -- Fayard Nicholas and his loving wife Katherine.

Since 1930, Fayard - along with his younger brother Harold as the famed Nicholas Brothers - worked as one of the most successful, popular, ground breaking, and dazzling dance acts in world history.

Since the death of his younger brother several years ago, Fayard was been receiving fewer and fewer work invitations to appear at festivals and dance events, and thus his income suffered a severe decline. His beautiful wife of six years, Katherine, has been full-time wife, friend, nurse, cook, and care taker to Fayard. Katherine was been unable to leave him for work outside of their home because he had been suffering from fainting spells and other health issues.

Fayard's Social Security and Pension benefits covered the rent of their one-bedroom apartment... but that was it. Time marches on, the bills kept coming in, but the jobs did not.

I realized that it was time for us to step in and help. This man has given us so much joy and inspiration over our lifetimes, here is an opportunity, an honor to give back to him.

Through all your gifts, together we raised enough money for them to get out of debt and enough money in the bank to cover the medical expenses that came at the end.

My dream now is to leave Katherine, Fayard's amazing wife, and my long-time friend, with enough money in the bank so that she should not have to worry for some time while she deals with the present, and prepares for this new stage in her life. She is young, beautiful, with the most amazing heart, but this new time for her will be so very challenging. After being a caregiver for eight years, she now has the job of taking care of herself. Let's help, and let her know that she is loved for herself and what she has done for the man we all cared so much about. If you would like to make a donation to her future, I am leaving the Fund open for the time being.

FAYARD NICHOLAS LINKS

Fayard Updates

NPR Blog

New York Times

Washington Post

Los Angeles Times

AP News

Dance Teacher Magazine

Video - Young Nicholas Brothers

Video - "Life & Times" Video

Video - KTLA News

Audio - NPR Radio

RUSTY FRANK'S HISTORY WITH
FAYARD AND KATHERINE NICHOLAS

I first met Fayard in 1987, when I began work on my landmark book, "TAP! The Greatest Tap Dance Stars And Their Stories, 1900-1955." From the moment we met, we became great friends... one could even say "best friends." We have danced together, sang together, appeared in shows together, laughed together, spent countless hours watching old movies together... just always having a wonderful time. (I even booked !!! The Nicholas Brothers TWICE for my show "Jazz Tap" in both 1989 and 1990.

My history with Fayard's wife goes even further back. I met her when I was eleven years old! She and her then husband, Jon Zerby, were my first tap dance teachers. I studied with them for two important years, learning all my basics and cementing my love for dance. Katherine was a beauty then and a love... one who passed on her love of dance and her love of people. She gave me a most precious gift -- confidence in myself. She will always hold the dearest place in my heart. For anyone who can remember what it felt like to be age 11-13, you know what I mean!

Fayard and Katherine knew each other for over twenty five years through their involvement in showbusiness, and they fell in love eight years ago, and were still like newlyweds. Their love and adoration for one another was a true inspiration.


CONCLUSION... FOR NOW

Thank you all for your support and concern,

Dancingly,

Rusty E. Frank

Pictured here with Fayard Nicholas in her home dance studio.