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Grave of Johnny Eck 

Greenmount Cemetery

Baltimore, Maryland

2014

 

Johnny "Eck" Eckhardt, an American Freak Show performer billed as the "Half-Boy" or "King of the Freaks".  Generally, he is best known for his performance in Todd Browning's 1932 cult classic film, "Freaks".  Eck was born with a truncated torso due to sacral agenesis, but he never let his lack of a lower body get the better of him.  With his 'normal' twin brother at his side, he performed all over the country.  He was also a painter, woodworker and, when the freak show became unpopular, he bought a small penny arcade to keep himself and his brother going.  

 

During his later life he was often visited by a new generation who found "Freaks" on videotape.  He found these new people fun and enjoyable, talking to them for hours.  Sadly, this all ended when he was robbed and tormented for hours in his home.  He never allowed anyone in again.  He passed away on January 5th, 1991 at the age of 79.  His brother passed four years later.

Johnny Eck with his twin Robert in their youth.  Robert stayed with and managed his brother through their entire lives.  

© 2019 by A. Louise Myers Weston

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