Bob “Daddy-O” Wade, the famous Texas artist who created the Tango Frogs sculpture on Lower Greenville, has died. He was 76.
The Austin-based artist died at his home Monday from heart failure, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
Wade’s best-known artworks included a 2,6000-pound iguana sculpture that sat on top of the Lone Star Cafe in Manhattan for a decade.
The sculpture was later moved to a Virginia couple’s farm, before it returned to New York in 1997. In 2010, the iguana, made of wire mesh and polyurethane foam, found a new home at the Fort Worth Zoo.
On Lower Greenville, Wade’s sculpture of three 10-foot-tall frogs can be seen on top of the Taco Cabana at 1827 Greenville Ave. The frogs were originally part of a group of six called the Six Frogs Over Greenville.
Wade created the frogs in the early 1980s, and they danced and played instruments on top of the long-closed Tango nightclub where the Taco Cabana is now open.
When the nightclub shut down in 1984, the frogs were moved to a truck stop on Interstate 35. The group of six frogs were split up in the early 1990s after a fire at the truck stop. Carl Cornelius, the store’s owner sold three of them to Chuy’s restaurants.
A Dallas resident suggested bringing the remaining three frogs back to their original home in 2013. Tim Taft, former CEO of Taco Cabana’s parent company, bought the frogs from Cornelius, and they were moved to the Taco Cabana in 2014.
Wade considered it a miracle at the time the frogs made it back to Lower Greenville after several decades.
“Now, after all these years, they’re back where they started,” he told The News in 2014. “A screenwriter couldn’t make this stuff up.”
Wade was born in Austin in 1943, according to his website. He earned degrees from the University of Texas and the University of California Berkeley.
His notable works include 40-foot-tall boots that now stand in San Antonio and a 7-foot-tall saxophone in Houston, according to the American-Statesman.
Wade, who studied at the University of Texas and the University of California at Berkeley, also sold silk-screen prints, sketches and posters.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram contributed to this report.