Johnny Eck a Letter to a Friend


Dear Nick Bougas,                                                                               March 17/86 9 A.M.

Your latest pkg of photos arrived in fine condition; really, I received another pleasant shock - when I pulled out the famous picture of Mrs. Tod Browning shaking hands with me! A word about that particular photo. 

About 40 years ago, I had a well-known magician visit and I brought out a small pack (loose) of MGM stills. Then there seemed to be (to me) a very slick movement. I could have sworn a photo was snapped up and dropped in a special pocket inside my magician friend's coat. All magicians have extra-wide, deep pockets built into their clothing for "loads" - to produce or get rid of things. I said "Jack, did you take a photo?  I'll gladly give you a copy, but please don't mess up my set..."

My friend answered, "Why no indeed!" To this day, I know he got that picture. And now I'm elated to have not a copy but a 8 x 10" glossy pro photo which, within minutes, I placed in a special clear sleeve in a heavy hard cover professional binder.

There are no more passing around loose photos in my home. Never. the identical shot.


= over =




Nick, when I returned to Baltimore after that film was completed, I had the pleasure of being on the stage of a local movie house and gave some close friends passes. A very close neighbor, after seeing the Freaks film, took me on the side and said "John. I'm sorry. You didn't belong with that crowd. Never..."

Today, that same beloved neighbor, now in her 80's, has been an inspiration to me all these years- and I agree with her. I really didn't relate with that crowd of freaks. I just couldn't mix with them. They were childish, silly and in a world of their own. (I'd like to elaborate in my memoirs on this subject.) What do you think, Nick - of course I couldn't mention names.

And after looking and drinking in your lovely photo of me and Mrs. Browning - and that poor sad-looking, clown-like "Koo the Koo" girl for the umpteenth time- I agree with my aged neighbor 100%, I did not belong with that crowd!!

Nick, how did you get that 8x10 glossy! I know you paid a good price for it. I wish and hope someday to help in the cost but now, thanx a billion for making me so happy. Best to you always,


Your portrait was great!








1- Johnny Eck

2-3 Letter from Johnny Eck

4- Envelop - with friends address removed


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