Jean-Jacques Libbera, The Double-Bodied Man
Jean Libbera (1884-1936), was the 4th of 13 children in his family – -14 if you count the small parasitic twin sprouting from his ribcage. The little brother (they named it Jacques) had fully functioning nervous and circulatory systems, and a rudimentary head that was buried in the host brother. According to the ballyhoo, the family’s 3rd child was born with the same condition as Jean, but didn’t survive. A native of Italy (born in Rome), Jean toured the U.S. with sideshows many times, performing with Barnum and Bailey, and the Dreamland Circus Sideshow, among others. He was to marry and have four children of his own, all perfectly normal.
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.