on Tod Browning the other night to congratulate him on his
excellent job in staging "Freaks," and was he
enthusiastic? Tod's an old circus man himself, you
know, and he had this idea of inner life among the misfits
under his hat for a long time . . . But that's not the
Tod is going to star Johnny Eck, the Half Man, in a
picture which he is writing . . . . and as Tod outlines
it, it's going to be a whale . . . . No danger of anyone
copping this plot, since there's but one living Half Man
and Tod has him under contract.
Johnny Eck is a youth of twenty years, and his twin
brother is a normal healthy individual who is studying
medicine back in the east where the brothers were born . .
. . Johnny is a natural freak - he was born a half man -
and except that his body ends at the waist, he is as
normal as you and I . . . . He is an excellent musician,
well educated, a reader of best literature, and a fine
And his brother is his double - except that he is fully
It is on this that Tod is planning his scenario . . . .
The brother will be a physician, who experiments with the
phenomena of nature, and ends up with a terrific
catastrophe for not minding his own business . . . .
Probably you can figure it out for yourself.
"I tell you, Bob I've a real actor in Johnny Eck," Tod
assured me. "If it wasn't for his affliction, he
could be made into a star . . . and at any rate, we may
make enough for him so he can quit the sideshow life,
which he abhors, and turn to his true love, which is