Claims that he was born in Yucatán, Mexico, are mistaken reflections of Schlitzie's occasional fanciful billing as "Maggie, last of the Aztec Children". Schlitzie landed his best-known role as an actor in Tod Browning's 1932 horror film Freaks. Rarely published photo of Schlitzie in his older age.
When Freaks premiered in 1932, cinema audiences were scandalized by the appearance of sideshow performers. Schlitzie during later stint with Foley and Burke.
Houdini actually owed a lot to the human marvels he shared the stage with when he…, Copyright © 2007-2018. Schlitzie (alternatively spelled Schlitze or Shlitze; September 10, 1901 – September 24, 1971), possibly born Simon Metz and legally Schlitze Surtees, was an American sideshow performer.
 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 with.
Additionally, Schlitzie has been cited as an inspiration for Bill Griffith's comic strip Zippy the Pinhead, and the circus freak Bertram in Red Dead Redemption 2.
He was perhaps best known for his role in the Tod Browning cult classic film Freaks – though he also appeared in Island Of Lost Souls opposite Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi. Schlitzie was born microcephalus, a condition characterised by an abnormally small and often pointed cranium. For a personal account of the life of Schlitzie, click here. During his lifetime, Schlitzie was exhibited as all of these things. Schlitzie during his early years with Ringling Bros. still being billed as "Last of the Aztecs" This appears to be a promotional pitch card. , On the sideshow circuit, microcephalic people were usually promoted as "pinheads" or "missing links", and Schlitzie was billed under such titles as "The Last of the Aztecs", "The Monkey Girl", and "What Is It?".
Hernandez Circus in Hawaii, and in 1961 and 1962 Schlitzie, under the supervision of his legal guardian George Surtees, appeared for the top west coast sideshow, Vanteen & Lee. When referring to Schlitzie, other actors use feminine pronouns. Schlitzie was most famously preceded by the pinhead Zip, and even today pinheads enjoy popularity as a microcephalus man dubbed Beetlejuice frequents The Howard Stern Show. His lifelong career on the outdoor entertainment circuit as a major sideshow attraction with Barnum & Bailey, among others, made him a popular cultural icon.  However, he was 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. Schlitzie was born with microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental disorder that left him with an unusually small brain and skull, a small stature (he stood about four feet tall [122 cm]), myopia, and severe intellectual disability. He continued to enchant crowds until his passing in 1971 at the age of 71. This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Schlitzie article. , In his later years, Schlitzie lived in Los Angeles, occasionally performing on various sideshow circuits both locally and internationally (he frequently performed in Hawaii and London, and his last major appearance was at the 1968 Dobritch International Circus held at the Los Angeles Sports Arena). Enough chit chat, on with the freak show. (In fact it might be nice to be culturally-beloved for a change.) The most popular opinion, currently, is that Schlitzie was born as Simon Metz on September 10, 1901 in the Bronx. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Clyde Beatty Circus, Tom Mix Circus, West Coast Shows, Vanteen & Lee Circus Sideshow, and the Dobritsch International Circus all had Schlitzie in their shows at some point. Hospital authorities determined that the best care for Schlitzie would be to make him a ward of Unks' employer, showman Sam Alexander, and return him to the sideshow, where he remained until 1968. Those who knew him alternately used masculine and feminine pronouns.
Previous to Schlitzie, the display and exhibiting of ‘pinheads’ was nothing new. Schlitzie. Schlitzie (alternatively spelled Schlitze or Shlitze; September 10, 1901 – September 24, 1971), possibly born Simon Metz and legally Schlitze Surtees, was an American sideshow performer. His origin story has been debated, but it is believed that Schlitzie was born Simon Metz in 1901. Previous to Schlitzie, the display and exhibiting of ‘pinheads’ was nothing new. , Under George Surtees' care, Schlitzie continued performing the sideshow circuit; after Surtees' death in 1965, his daughter, who was not in show business, committed Schlitzie to a Los Angeles county hospital.
The condition often resulted in retardation and Schlitzie himself was as cognitive as a four year old. , Schlitzie remained hospitalized for some time until he was recognized by sword swallower Bill "Frenchy" Unks, who happened to be working at the hospital during the off-season.
In the 1800’s pinheads were often exhibited as a species apart from man, as the last members of an ancient race – usually Aztecs – and on occasion they were billed as being from another planet. His childlike exuberance, boyish innocence, and unconditional love for everyone he met, endeared him to everyone he …
The film became the public's major exposure to Schlitzie, who remains one of the more memorable characters in the film. He liked going to MacArthur Park at Alvarado Street and Wilshire Boulevard, where he would visit the lake with his guardian, feeding the pigeons and ducks and performing for passersby..
Schlitzie was interred at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Rowland Heights. Unks just happened to be working at the hospital during the off season when he noticed a very sad and depressed Schlitzie. Schlitzie also became a notable attraction on the streets of Hollywood, spending his final days on Santa Monica Blvd. 130. According to Unks, Schlitzie seemed to miss the carnival badly, and being away from the public eye had made him very depressed. Schlitzie appeared in bit roles in various movies and is credited with a role in the 1934 exploitation film Tomorrow's Children as a mentally defective criminal who undergoes forced sterilization.
Schlitzie also became a notable attraction performing on the streets of Hollywood, with his caretakers selling his stock carnival souvenir pictures.  Information about Schlitzie's identity at birth may never be known, the information having been lost as he was handed off to various carnivals in a long line of mostly informal guardianships throughout his career. Although Schlitzie had no known biological family, during the 1936 season of the Tom Mix Circus sideshow George Surtees, a chimpanzee trainer, became Schlitzie’s legal guardian. TheHumanMarvels.com, 3 Mysterious Magic Tricks From Circus History, PT Barnum | Understanding his (In)Famous Real Life | Greatest Showman, For a personal account of the life of Schlitzie, click here, Pip and Flip Snow – The Pinheads of Freaks. His death certificate listed his official name as "Shlitze Surtees" and his birthdate as 1901. Schlitzie missed the carnival, missed his friends and the adoration of the crowds.
Athelia The Monkey Girl from Yucatan Athelia was often rumored to be the sister of Simon Metz (Schlitzie the Pinhead) On one of her pitch cards it states "She can not articulate the same as you or I. It's where your interests connect you with your people.
Hospital authorities eventually determined that the best care for Schlitzie would be to make him a ward of Unks’ employer, showman Sam Kortes, and return to the sideshow. Humanoid Creatures Weird Creatures Creepy Old Photos Sculpture Art Sculptures Creepy Photography Human Oddities Cartoon Monsters Wtf Face. Schlitzie spent time in his final days on Santa Monica Boulevard. Schlitzie's iconic image has lent itself to many products, including masks, hats, shirts, models, clocks, snow globes, and dolls. In his final years, Schlitzie could be seen feeding the pigeons and ducks with his guardian, performing for people as they passed by. This was probably 1959-1960. (1950s). , Schlitzie was often dressed in a muumuu and presented as either female or androgynous to add to the mystique of his unusual appearance. Schlitzie was a ray of sunshine, and his smile and unconditional love shined on all those around him. Schlitzie was being billed as Tik Tak at this time. At the turn of the last century, entertainment was a different species than it is today, having not T.V. Surtees was, by all accounts, a caring and loving guardian but when he passed in the early 1960’s his daughter had Schlitzie committed to a Los Angeles County Hospital. Schlitzie had already been picked up from the personal care home by Bill Unks. It is possible that these features were caused by Seckel syndrome. Everyone loves exploiting those who are different, but no one did it quite as well as our friends from yesteryear. He was eventually cared for by performer friends and settled in and apartment near MacArthur Park Lake in downtown Los Angeles.
Schlitzie remained committed for some time, until he was recognized by sword swallower Bill Unks. Schlitzie's true birth date, name, and location are unknown; it is commonly accepted, at least by what was inscribed on his death certificate and gravesite, that he was born on September 10, 1901, in The Bronx, New York, though 1892 has also been considered as a possibility. Her vocabulary consists of approximately ten words, namely: "How do." Schlitzie never truly retired. Around 1950 Schlitzie appeared on Pete Kortes's 10-in-1 at Belmont Park in Montreal, as did another pinhead who received billing as his sister, Athelia. Nonetheless, Schlitzie was a favorite with the fans and caretakers: “Like a 3-year-old frozen in time, each day brought new wonders to Schlitzie.