This pair of German giants met whilst performing in a London revue. He was actually from Austria and had been billed as Prince Yose; she was from Bernstadt, Germany. They got married in 1933 and billed themselves as The World’s Tallest Married Couple.
Elfriede was six foot ten; Gottlieb was seven foot two. Technically they weren’t giants in the medical sense. You’ll note that they’re shorter than most of the giants mentioned in these annals, nearly all of whom suffered from some sort of pituitary condition. Neither of the Fischers were afflicted in this way; they were just ordinary people who were a bit on the tall side. It is when they were joined together as a couple that they became more unique and impressive.
In 1937 they went to the States to work at all the top circuses, first Hagenbeck-Wallace, then Cole Brothers, then Ringling Bros. For a time they went by Mr. and Mrs. Long, but then they simply went back to using their real names. The western outfits date from their time at Ringling; the tall ten gallon hats and big-heel boots enhanced their size. In 1948 they retired from show business and established a motor lodge in Florida. Elfriede passed away in 1984; Gottlieb in 1988.
To find out about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
For more on silent and slapstick comedy please check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc