Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Schlitze was born in Yucatan, Mexico during the 1880's and had a sister who also suffered from microcephaly. Despite being male, Schlitze wore dresses to simplify his toilet needs, but he was unusually intelligent for a microcephaly sufferer and could sing a few notes, dance a few steps and even count to ten. It was said that Schlitze loved hats, new dresses, bits of string, games and Freaks director Tod Browning, even to the point of imitating the tone of his voice.
Up until a tour of St. Louis, Schlitze was billed as "Maggie, the last of the Aztecs", but then a well known beer company gave him the name of Schlitze.
His nature was of a fun loving and extremely affectionate child and also expressed a liking for young Jackie Cooper, much to the actor's terror.
Schlitze also appeared briefly in a carnival scene of Columbia's MEET BOSTON BLACKIE (1941) with Chester Morris.
After 30 years of exhibition, Schlitze's owner and manager died forcing him into an institution where the attendants never had the time to provide him with the attention he craved. Sam Alexander, a Canadian promoter, found Schlitze literally dying of lonliness. Alexander persuaded the authorities to place Schlitze in his care and he took him on the road.
Schlitze died in California during 1961 at the age of 80, an unusually long life for a microcephile.