Search

Search Type:

Today's News and Humor
Slow Food Vs. Fast Food - A Fun Way To Grow Up!
Trump's Secretary Of Defense - Marine Corp General "Mad Dog" Mattis - 7 Best Quotes
Cops: Salvation Army Volunteer Exposed Himself
The People Who Think They Run The Country And Just Which Newspapers They READ!
10 Russian KGB Secret Operations - These Guys Were NASTY!



Special Images and Pictures
SOP - B - OLDE MOVIES - MOVIE STARS - SILENT FILMS - STARLETS - MUSICIANS
SOP - D - CIRCUS ACTS - VAUDEVILLE - FREAKS - ENTERTAINMENT
SOP - B - WORLD WAR TWO - WWII - TROOPS - BATTLES - EQUIPMENT - ALLIES - UNITED STATES - ENGLAND - RUSSIA
SOP - A - OLDE VEHICLES - CARS & TRUCKS 1900 - 1940
SOP - F - OLDE GHOST PICTURES - UFO'S - STRANGE EERIE ITEMS - MYSTERIES


Strange Survey
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NATIONAL PARK OR AREA IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO VISIT?
 NEW ENGLAND
 NEW YORK CITY
 NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - SFO - NAPA
 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
 TEXAS AND THE SOUTH
 THE BEACHES OF FLORIDA
 THE GRAND CANYON!
 THE LAKES OF THE MIDWEST
 THE NORTHWEST
 YELLOWSTONE PARK
 
View Previous Surveys





STRANGE CIRCUS FREAKS - SCHITZIE

Schlitzie, possibly born Simon Metz , and legally Schlitze Surtees , was a American sideshow performer and occasional actor, best known for his role in the 1932. movie Freaksand his life-long career on the outdoor entertainment circuit as a major sideshow attraction with Barnum and Bailey, among others.

Schlitzie’s true birth date, name and location is unknown; it is commonly accepted, at least by what was inscribed on his death certificate , that he was born on September 10, 1901 in New York, though 1892 has also been considered as a possibility.

Schlitzie was born with microcephaly, a neuro developmental disorder that left him with an unusually small brain and skull, a small stature (he stood about four feet tall (122cm)),myopia and moderate to severe mental retardation. It was said Schlitzie had the cognizance of a three year-old: he was unable to fully care for himself and he could only speak in monosyllabic words and form a few simple phrases. However, he was still able to perform simple tasks and it is believed that he could understand most of what was said to him, as he had a very quick reaction time and the ability to mimic. Those who knew Schlitzie described him as an affectionate, exuberant, sociable person who loved dancing, singing and being the center of attention, performing for anyone he could stop and talk to.

On the sideshow circuit, microcephalics were usually promoted as “pinheads” or “missing links”, and Schlitzie was billed under such titles as “The Last of the Aztecs”, “The Monkey Girl” or simply”What Is It?”, or was paired up with other microcephalics. One notable example of the latter was Schlitzie’s possible pairing with a microcephalic woman named Athelia, exhibited together as “Aurora and Natalia, the Aztec sisters”. This has led to claims that Aurora actually was Schlitzie’s sister, but these claims are unsubstantiated.

Schlitzie was often presented as a female or left androgynous to add to the mystique of his odd appearance. Those who knew him alternately referred to him as “he” and “she”. The sideshow circuit was a tremendous success for Schlitzie, and throughout the 1920s and 1930s, he was employed by many upscale circuses. In 1928, Schlitzie made his film debut in the The Sideshow, a drama that took place at a circus, featuring a variety of actual sideshow performers including himself. In 1932, Schlitzie landed his most known role as an actor in Tod Browning’s iconic horror film Freaks.

The appearance of Freaks’ cast proved extremely controversial on its original release, and the film was ultimately a financial failure. Additionally, it was banned for thirty years in the United Kingdom and Browning struggled to find work following its release, his last with a major studio.

In 1935, while Schlitzie was performing with the Tom Mix Circus, George Surtees, a chimpanzee trainer also appearing at the show with a trained chimp act, adopted him, becoming Schlitzie’s legal guardian. In 1941, Schlitzie appeared in his final film role as “Princess Betsy”.Under the care of Surtees, Schlitzie continued performing the sideshow circuit until Surtees’ death in the early 1960s, after which Surtees’ daughter, who was not in show business, committed Schlitzie to a Los Angeles county hospital.

Schlitzie remained hospitalized for some time until he was recognized by sword swallower Bill Unks, who happened to be working at the hospital during the off-season. According to Unks, Schlitzie seemed to miss the carnival dearly, and being away from the public eye had made him very sad and depressed. Hospital authorities determined that the best care for Schlitzie would be to make him a ward of Unks’ employer, showman Sam Kortes, and return him to the sideshow.

On September 24, 1971, at the age of 70, Schlitzie died from bronchial pneumonia at Fountain View Convalescent Home. His death certificate listed his official name as “Shlitze Surtees” and his birth date as 1901. Schlitzie’s grave remained unmarked until August 2008, when members of the website www.findadeath.com raised almost $400 to purchase him a proper headstone, which displays his name as “Schlitze Surtees” and his birth date as September 10, 1901.
 

STRANGE CIRCUS FREAKS - SCHITZIE






The Strange Family




© 2017 StrangeCosmos.com
Read our Privacy Policy

StrangeCosmos.com StrangeVehicles.com StrangeZoo.com StrangePolitics.com StrangePersons.com
StrangeSports.com StrangeCelebrities.com StrangeMilitary.com StrangeDangers.com StrangePolice.com
StrangeBusiness.com StrangeFunKidz.com StrangeTravel.com StrangeAmericans.com StrangeFarmer.com
StrangeCollege.com StrangeOldePictures.com StrangeRacer.com StrangeBlondes.com StrangeGolf.com
StrangeVacations.com StrangeFunVideos.com StrangeMedical.com    

Disclaimer: We do our best to avoid copyrighted material. If anything on this site has been copyrighted by you, please contact us so we can remove it or give you credit!