Well-known makeup artist, musician and mask maker (and friend to The Drunken Severed Head) Verne Langdon has sent me word that "Schlitzie" of Freaks movie fame has at last gotten a gravestone. It will be officially unveiled at 11:00 a.m. on February 20th.
It will be 77 years to the day after the premiere of Freaks; and coincidentally the same weekend as the Oscar ceremonies, where a more famous late movie star will be honored and remembered.
Here is an announcement of the informal memorial from Verne Langdon:
"On Friday morning, February 20, at 11 AM, a caravan of several dozen or more people who have for the most part never met one another in person, will wend their way to a cemetery, stand at a grave for a few moments for a quiet prayer spoken for someone most of these same people have never met, and did not know in life. They will take tremendous pride in their mysterious accomplishment, then exit the cemetery and go on about the day, visiting the deceased's favorite locations around Los Angeles, including his last known residence and place of demise.
"The Schlitzie Memorial will be a quiet and dignified ceremony. It will be a spiritual celebration. And those attending will be there to truly pay their respect to a man who spent most of his life being called ‘pinhead’ and ‘freak’.
"Schlitzie spent almost 40 years entertaining millions around the world and lining the pockets of many promoters, movie studios and artists. Yet the man, through no fault of his own, died penniless in a county convalescent facility and was laid to rest in an unmarked pauper's grave.
"It has taken almost another 40 years for Schlitzie to finally get a little something back for all he gave.
"There will be no carnival. There will be no sideshow. There will be no movie sets.
"There will, however, be quiet on the gravesite. There will be dignity. There will be respect.
"And finally, there will be a gravestone, for Schlitzie."
Learn about Schlitzie at http://www.findadeath.com/Deceased/s/shlitze/shlitze.htm.
If you wish to send a representative to cover any part of the day, or wish to simply attend, please direct all inquiries, media or otherwise to: