Frances O'Connor (performer)
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September 8, 1914|
Granite Falls, Minnesota
|Died||January 30, 1982
Long Beach, California
Frances Belle O'Connor (September 8, 1914 – January 30, 1982) was an American entertainer. Born without arms, she made her living appearing in circus sideshows billed as the armless wonder or the living Venus de Milo. She would perform normal actions such as eating, drinking, writing and smoking a cigarette, using her feet. She also did knitting and sewing with her feet as a hobby. She worked firstly with AI G Circus and then from the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey travelling circuses.
O'Connor appeared in the 1932 cult film classic Freaks, directed and produced by Tod Browning. The film revolves around a group of individuals with physical deformities, who are predominantly circus sideshow performers. In the film she would demonstrate how she used her feet to perform everyday activities, in an almost ballerina style grace.
Her mother served as her showbiz manager. Frances O'Connor never married and never had children. After having retired from the travelling circuit, she died in relative obscurity in Long Beach, California, at the age of 67 in 1982.
- "Frances O'Connor, Living Venus de Milo" from Prodigies by James G. Mundie
- "FRANCES O’CONNOR – The Living Venus De Milo" from The Human Marvels by J. Tithonus Pednaud
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