Meet Sideshow Star, Koo Koo The Bird Girl!

Koo Koo The Bird Girl,c.1930, from Sideshow Stars Collection

Like many vintage photo and ephemera collectors, I am fascinated with images of the 'other' such as circus performers and 'freaks'. Above is a rare 1930 photograph of Koo Koo The Bird Girl. Her real name was 'Minnie Woolsey and she was born in Georgia in 1880. She was born with Virchow-Seckel syndrome, a condition also known as bird-headed dwarfism. In addition to her unusual face, she was blind, mentally handicapped, toothless, and practically hairless. The story goes that she was rescued from a a Georgia insane asylum by an huckster showman and began her stage career as "Minnie Ha-Ha". She was dressed in a phony American Indian costume and spoke jibberish to sideshow audiences. In 1932, Minnie landed a role in Tod Browning"s cult movie classic, Freaks, as Koo Koo The Bird Girl. Later, Minnie worked at Coney Island as Koo Koo, the Blind Girl from Mars. It is unknown how long Minnie performed or when she died but some claim she was still living in1960.

Koo Koo is so amazing I have made a limited edition print of this rare 1930 photograph from my collection. Check it out and add her to your collection!

3 comments Barbara Levine, freaks, koo koo the bird girl, vintage circus photos

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