Tuesday, 21 April 2009


Frances Belle O'Connor

(September 8, 1914, in Granite Falls, Minnesota, – January 30, 1982, in Long Beach, California), born entirely without arms, made her living by appearing in various circus sideshows as the armless wonder or the living Venus de Milo. She would perform normal actions, such as eating, drinking, and smoking a cigarette with her feet.

She also appeared in the controversial 1932 film, Freaks, directed by Tod Browning, in which a number of real people with physical abnormalities played themselves or other characters. During the sequence at the wedding feast, O'Connor wears a pretty costume that has no sleeves at all, leaving her shoulders entirely bare and revealing that she does not even have stumps where her arms should be.

O'Connor never married, although it was said that she was never short of admirers. She died in relative obscurity in Long Beach, California in 1982


Johnny Eck, born John Eckhardt, Jr.

(August 27, 1911, Baltimore, MarylandApril 28, 1991, Baltimore, Maryland) was an American freak show performer born with the appearance that he was missing the lower half of his torso. Eck is best known today for his role in Tod Browning's 1932 cult classic film, Freaks. He was often billed as the amazing "Half-Boy" and "King of the Freaks".

Besides being a sideshow performer and actor, Johnny Eck was also an artist, photographer, illusionist, penny arcade owner, Punch and Judy operator, expert model-maker, race car driver, swimmer, runner, tight rope walker, animal trainer, gymnast, orchestra conductor, train conductor and traveler.

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