Prince Randian

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Prince Randian
Prince Randian
Born 1871
Demerara, British Guiana
Died December 19, 1934 (aged 63)
New York City, New York
Other names Rardion, The Living Torso, The Caterpillar Man, The Human Cigar, The Human Caterpillar/Worm

Prince Randian (sometimes misspelled Rardion or Randion; ca. 1871 – December 19, 1934), also known as The Snake Man, The Living Torso, The Human Caterpillar and a variety of other names was an Guyanese American performer with tetra-amelia syndrome and a famous limbless sideshow performer of the early 1900s, best known for his ability to roll cigarettes with his lips. He was reportedly brought to the United States by P.T. Barnum in 1889 and was a popular carnival and circus attraction for 45 years. Prince Randian can be seen in the 1932 film Freaks.

Personal life[edit]

Randian (whose birth name is unknown) was born with no arms or legs in Demerara, British Guiana. He was a Hindu and spoke Hindi, English, French, and German.[1] With his wife, known as Princess Sarah, he fathered four daughters and a son. He and his wife lived at 174 Water Street, Paterson, New Jersey, until his death.[2]


For his act, Randian wore a one-piece wool garment that fit tightly over his body, giving him the appearance of a caterpillar, snake or potato and would move himself around the stage by wiggling his hips and shoulders. His best-known ability was rolling and lighting cigarettes using only his lips, but he was also capable of painting and writing by holding a brush or stylus with his lips and of shaving himself by securing a razor in a wooden block. He kept all of the props and materials used in his act in a wooden box that he reportedly constructed, painted and affixed a lock to by himself.

His cigarette-lighting routine was featured in the MGM film Freaks.


Randian died at 7:00 PM on December 19, 1934 shortly after his last performance at Sam Wagner's 14th Street Museum. He was 63 years old.

See also[edit]

  • Violetta, another limbless sideshow performer


  1. ^ "Prince Randian". Freaks of Nature. 
  2. ^ Frederick, Drimmer (1973). Very Special People. Bantam Books. p. 103. ISBN 0-8065-1253-9. 

External links[edit]