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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 10 October 1905Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
Date of Death 9 May 2001Longmeadow, Massachusetts, USA
Nickname The Stork Woman
Height 4' 7½" (1.41 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Elizabeth Green (aka Betty Green) was an American sideshow performer who was presented to audiences as "The Human Stork" during the early 1900's. Elizabeth was actually the first "Koo Koo the Bird Girl" (predating Minnie Woolsey), and toured with Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus in the 1920s and '30s.

Her background is very obscure, but it's generally accepted that a genetic condition was responsible for her unusual features, and she was described in a newspaper article as "a cross between a crane and a shaved dachshund." She also may have suffered from mild retardation, although she had no other known medical problem. Anton La Vey, who had worked in the circus with several oddities and later founded the Church of Satan, claimed that Betty Green was not a freak at all and had entered the profitable profession of circus life by exaggerating her worst features, deliberately sucking in her cheeks and bulging her eyes out. Some claim that Green, being one of the "less weird-looking" attractions, was used at the entrance of the oddities sideshow in order to catch the attention of passerbys. Evidently, she had a sense of humor about her condition, because her comedy act involved dancing like a bird in a feathered bodysuit, large bird feet and a gigantic feather in her cap.

She was a first-rate comedienne, but she also had a rare aptitude for business; she owned five large apartment houses in the Boston area, and managed them herself when she wasn't touring with the circus. Her agent said of her, "She may be koo koo enough to be able to make people laugh, but she's not koo koo when it comes to signing contracts."

Betty was an avid movie fan, and had autographs of almost every well-known star in the picture business, securing them when Hollywood stars would come to see her sideshow act. Her only film credit is Tod Browning's Freaks (1932), and it's claimed that Green only signed the contract to appear in Freaks so that she could might be able to get the autograph of her favorite actor, Ronald Coleman (and she was especially eager to leave immediately for Hollywood because she heard of Coleman's impending divorce). She appears in several different scenes in the film, including a conversation with the Armless Girl Frances O'Connor while seated at a table eating dinner.

At the time she obtained the role in Freaks, Minnie Woolsey had already received billing as Koo Koo the Bird Girl. What Betty thought about this situation is unknown, but after the film was completed, she returned to the sideshow and continued her role as Koo Koo. It's unfortunate that Minnie, because she was featured in the table dance scene rather than Elizabeth, should be commonly associated with the Bird Girl.

No information is known about the date or cause of Elizabeth Green's death.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: mgnylander@yahoo.com

Trivia (6)

Appeared with the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus in the 1920s and 1930s.
She had no disorders, and was actually a physically normal woman with unusual facial features, but she toured with Barnum and Bailey as a 'freak'.
A Newspaper Report from ca. 1943 was telling that she was retired and living in Springfield, Massachussetts.
Daughter of Joseph Green (1865 - 1952) and Sarah Engber Green (1871 - 1944).
Elizabeth Green lived later with her niece Dorothy L. Cohen Paro Schwartz (1923 - 2005), who is the daughter of William (1895 - 1968) and Anna Green Cohen (1900 - 1980).
Elizabeth Green lived later with her niece Dorothy L. Paro Schwartz (1923 - 2005) and helped her raising her three children.

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