Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Prince Randian

Prince Randian

Born without limbs in British Guyana, South America in 1871, Prince Randian was brought to America before the turn of the century by legendary showman P.T. Barnum who billed him as "The Human Caterpillar", "The Living Torso" or "The Human Worm".
Prince Randian, a Hindu, was said to possess a quiet sense of humour and was able to speak Hindu, English, German and French. His personal philosophy was that no physical handicap need matter if the mind is dominant. He was able to write, paint, shave and roll his own cigarettes using only his mouth, the latter feat is demonstrated in the film Freaks.
Prince Randian's only dialogue in the film is almost indecipherable, but he apparently remarks to one of the Rollo brothers, "Can you do anything with your eyebrows?"
During the carnival's off-season, Prince Randian resided in Patterson, New Jersey with his devoted wife and several children. His last public appearance was an evening show at Sam Wagner's 14th. Street Museum on December 19th. 1934. He collapsed and died shortly after at the age of 63.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Harry and Daisy Earles

The Doll Family
Born in Germany, Harry and Daisy's family name was Scheider. Harry, Daisy and their two sisters Grace and Tiny travelled to America and appeared at Coney Island as The Doll Family before adopting the surname Earles and appearing professionally in carnivals, circuses and vaudeville.

Harry Earles, born Kurt Scheider, was 39 inchesHarry Earles high and had already worked with Tod Browning before Freaks in 1925 on The Unholy Three as the ruthless midget Tweedledee. He later reprised the role for the 1930 sound remake again with Lon Chaney.
As a point of interest it was Harry that brought Tod Browning's attention to the Clarence A. "Tod" Robbins novel on which the film Freaks was based.
After 1932 Harry left the motion picture industry to tour with the Ringling Brothers and the Barnum & Bailey Circuses.
The entire Earles family, including Daisy who was known as "The Midget Mae West" and actually grew a few inches taller later in life, all appeared in MGM's The Wizard of Oz (1939). Harry can be seen as one of the Lollipop Boys.
After 25 years with the circus, Harry retired to Sarasota, Florida where he lived until his death in 1985.
As a side note Harry can also be seen in Laurel and Hardy's SAILORS BEWARE (1927) and BLOCKHEADS (1940).