Prince Randian

Prince Randian

Birthday: 12 October 1871, Demerara, British Guiana
Prince Randian was born in the Demarara district, British Guyana in 1871, the child of British Indian slaves. Born with tetra-amelia syndrome (the lacking of all four limbs), little is known about his early life or how he was discovered, but it seems his incredible adaptability did not go unnoticed. Reputedly, he was brought to the United States by... Show more »
Prince Randian was born in the Demarara district, British Guyana in 1871, the child of British Indian slaves. Born with tetra-amelia syndrome (the lacking of all four limbs), little is known about his early life or how he was discovered, but it seems his incredible adaptability did not go unnoticed. Reputedly, he was brought to the United States by P.T. Barnum in 1889 at the age of 18, performing as an "oddity" or "freak" at dime shows, museums and primarily at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New YorkFor his act, Randian was billed as "the human caterpillar who crawls on his belly like a reptile." He wore a one-piece wool garment that fit tightly over his body, giving him the appearance of a caterpillar, snake or potato. He was efficient at moving from place to place by wriggling his hips and shoulders in a snake-like motion. He would demonstrate his astonishing ability to fend for himself regardless of his handicap. He would shave himself by securing a razor in a wooden block, paint with a brush or write with a pen by using his lips, and most famously, roll and light his own cigarette in his only film appearance, Freaks (1932). Randian was also said to have been a skilled carpenter, using his mouth and shoulders to manipulate his tools, and he kept all of the props and materials used in his act in a wooden box that he reportedly constructed, painted and installed a lock by himself using a saw, knife and hammer. "Someday," he used to say, "I'll build myself a house."Randian could speak English, German and French in addition to Hindi, his native language. He married early in life to a Hindu woman known only as Princess Sarah, who remained devoted to him throughout his long 45-year career in the sideshow. The couple had four daughters, plus a son who later became his manager. They settled at 174 Water Street in Paterson, New Jersey.Prince Randian died of a heart attack at 7:00 PM on December 19, 1934, shortly after his comeback performance at Sam Wagner's 14th Street Museum in New York. He was 63 years old. Show less «