Jenny Lee and Elvira Snow are the two “pinheads” (microcephalic persons) in the movie Freaks who are not Schlitzie. Billed betimes as “Pip and Zip” or “Pip and Flip” or “Pippo and Zippo”, the women were microcephalic and came from Georgia, though they were often advertised as being “from the Yucatan”. They weren’t actually twins. IMDB gives Elvira’s birthday as March 2, 1901; Jenny Lee was said to be 12 years younger. Essentially rented from their family, the two spent the bulk of their careers as stars of the World Circus Sideshow in Coney Island from the late 20s into the early years of the Depression. Both sisters were said to have the mental capacity of toddlers and to require constant watching and care. Jenny Lee died young, in 1934. Elvira passed away in 1976.
To learn about the history of show business, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
Pippo & Zippo? Not showbiz’ finest hour.