Marie Frances O’Brien is proving to the world that it’s never too late to dance!
Back when she was just 15, her love of dancing led her to performing in shows for World War II service members. Now, at 93 years old, she’s taken her moves to TikTok.
She didn’t start making videos just for the sake of having fun. Inspiration first came from her 33-year-old granddaughter, Allison Krause, after Allison’s mom Colleen (Marie’s daughter) began to struggle with lymphoma. As chemotherapy took a toll on her, her loved ones wanted to find a way to make her smile.
“Allison came over and said, ‘Mom is so sad, and she looks really ill … Let’s make a funny video to make Mom laugh,'” Marie said. “We made a video, we danced and everything, and it did make her laugh, which I was so happy. That’s all we wanted to do.”
While they originally made these videos for one person, after just a few months of Allison sharing them on TikTok, their account grew to over 150,000 followers! One of their most popular videos, which we’ve shared below, has over 6 million views.
Marie, also known as “Fran the Hip Gran,” has been surprised by all the attention she’s been getting, but she’s also loving it!
“This is very new to me, because I never knew about TikTok,” Marie said. “It’s just fantastic. And if it can bring joy and laughter, and these silly videos can make people laugh. That’s all I want.”
Marie’s videos never fail to bring a smile to people’s faces, but she’s connecting with her fans in much deeper ways, too. For example, she’s been able to reply to comments from total strangers who are dealing with the loss of a grandparent, as well as those who aren’t able to see their grandparents because of the pandemic.
“She gets comments saying how much those videos have meant to them through some tough times,” Allison said. “She lights up when she hears that.”
Since Marie created her TikTok account, her family has stepped up to help her out. That includes two of her other grandchildren, Caitlin Krause and Kerry Krause.
“This lady has been ready for the limelight for a very long time,” Caitlin said. “She’s been our little star for as long as I’ve been alive for sure and spreading joy to us for many, many years.”
“She just has the most positive outlook on everything,” Kerry said. “She’s our inspiration, a bright spot in all of our lives.”
We are obsessed with Fran the Hip Gran! Don’t forget to share this sweet story with your friends to spread the joy.
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