Well-known American sideshow performer and actor, best known as Schlitzie Surtees for his role in the movie Freaks, was possibly born under the name of Simon Metz in the New York’s community Bronx in 1901. According to other rather “mystical” sources, he was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Maybe that’s why many of the circus posters billed Schlitze under the title “The Last of the Aztecs”.
According to many sources, Schlitzie had to wear a dress to hide diapers (he had incontinence). The idea to present him as a girl appeared later on. Schlitzie often was dressed in a muumuu in public.
At those times microcephaly was very popular in carnival business. People watched microcephalics as if they were aliens.
Mircocephaly is a disorder that leaves people with very small brain, skull and a stature. Schlitzie had the cognizance of a 3-year-old child.
The history doesn’t mention Schlitzie’s birth parents. They were probably drunkards or beggards, and most likely sold their sick child to a sideshow.
People who knew Schlitzie said he was affectionate and sociable person. He enjoyed dancing and singing.
Throughout his life-long career, Schlitzie was a major sideshow attraction.