Daily Archives: January 21, 2010

Living Half-Boy

When we talk about Freaks it is worth highlighting Johnny Eck, one of the most famous and admired ones: this is my personal tribute to him.

One of two twins born in Baltimore in 1911, his brother Robert was born normal and healthy. He always loved stage and by age fourteen he was performing regularly, often with his twin: an illusionist would call a volunteer from the audience to be cut in half, and you can imagine the rest of the story. People screamed, fainted and even walked out.

He also featured on the big screen in Tod Browning´s “Freaks” (1932) and in the first Tarzan movie ever made.

He passed away on 1991 at the age of 79.

The most remarkable thing about him was that he never felt sorry for himself and he lived his life intensely, from starring in Freaks to being a train conductor and a racecar driver, or even a saxophone player (as you see in my illustration).

As he once said: “To ask me if I´m sorry I have no legs is like asking an Eskimo if he´s sorry he never tasted an artichoke”.

He has a museum dedicated to him in Baltimore, MD (www.johnnyeckmuseum.com).

Thanks for reading!