• 4 July 1891
  •  Austria

Josephine Joseph


Josephine Joseph was born in Austria of Polish-Austrian descent in 1913, whose body was allegedly split down the middle, one side male and the other female. She/he claimed to be a true intersex, or "hermaphrodite,' but there is no evidence to confirm whether this was the case or not. Hermaphrodites generally share the genitals of both sexes, but are not "divided," as circus performers would lead the general public to believe. This was known as a "gaffed" or fake presentation. Most likely, she/he was just a skilled male-female impersonator. One side of the body would be exercised, with shaved body hair and a suntan; the other side would be pale and flabby due to lack of exercise, and the pectoral muscle would resemble a woman's breast. The performer would then wear a split costume, a Tarzan-style loincloth on the "male" side, and a low-cut, tight-fitting blouse on the "female" side. In the majority of cases, half-and-half performers were men, so Josephine Joseph was most likely a male impersonator, with the feminine side being dominant. At the age of 19, Josephine Joseph is best remembered for an appearance in the Tod Browning classic Freaks (1932). Although she/he only had two lines, she/he still appeared in a number of scenes, most notably at the wedding reception where she/he begins the chant, "We accept her, one of us! We accept her, one of us!" Another has her/him giving an alluring look to the circus strongman, Hercules, to which Roscoe Ates stammers, "I think she-he she-he likes you...but he dodo-don't!" As of this posting, there is no other information on the life of Josephine Joseph.


Movie Name Release Date
Τα τέρατα – Freaks (1932) February 20, 1932