Seeking to escape the workhouse several years later, Merrick found his way into a human oddities show in which he was exhibited as "The Elephant Man. After an unsuccessful trip to Belgium, Merrick returned to London and was eventually brought to the London Hospital. Unable to care for Merrick, the chairman of the hospital published a letter asking for public support. The resulting donations allowed the hospital to convert several rooms into living quarters for Merrick, where he would be cared for the rest of his life. He died from a broken vertebra on April 11, , at the age of Joseph Carey Merrick was born on August 5, , in Leicester, England, and was by all accounts a healthy child at birth. However, by the age of 5, he had developed patches of lumpy, grayish skin, which his parents attributed to his mother having been frightened by a stampeding elephant during her pregnancy.
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Who Was Joseph Merrick?
The Elephant Man is a British-American historical tragedy film about Joseph Merrick whom the script calls John Merrick , a severely deformed man in late 19th century London. It was produced by Jonathan Sanger and Mel Brooks , the latter of whom was intentionally left uncredited to avoid confusion from audiences who possibly would have expected a comedy. It was shot in black-and-white and featured make-up work by Christopher Tucker. After receiving widespread criticism for failing to honor the film's make-up effects, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was prompted to create the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling the following year.
Movies / TV
Browse our picks. In Victorian London, Dr. Frederick Treves with the London Hospital comes across a circus sideshow attraction run by a man named Bytes called "The Elephant Man". In actuality, the creature on display is indeed a man, twenty-one-year-old Joseph "John" Merrick, who has several physical deformities, including an oversized and disfigured skull, and an oversized and disfigured right shoulder. Brutish Bytes, his "owner", only wants whatever he can get economically by presenting Merrick as a freak. Treves manages to bring Merrick under his care at the hospital, not without several of its own obstacles, including being questioned by those in authority since Merrick cannot be cured. Treves initially believes Bytes' assertion that mute Merrick is an imbecile, but ultimately learns that Merrick can speak and is a well-read and articulate man.
The play ran for over performances in New York, an impressive number for a nonmusical. In later years, his left and right arms began to grow significant differences and both feet were enlarged. To add to his troubles, during his childhood he fell and suffered an injury to his hip which left him permanently lame. Despite his physical appearance, the boy and his mother were close. A former housemaid, she was also handicapped and had three additional children, two of whom died at a young age. She herself passed away in of pneumonia. Her death devastated young Joseph. Not only did he lose his closest friend, but his father, now working as a haberdasher, soon married the strict widow Emma Wood Antill who had two children of her own and demanded young Merrick leave school and earn his living.