David Bowie plays Joseph Merrick in the Broadway play The Elephant Man (1980-1981). Beautiful performer. His role as Merrick inspired his album released in 1980 Scary Monsters ( and Super Creeps ) . David was very interested in the lives of freaks isolationists and oddities. I believe that when he played this role he was really absorbed by the psychological aspect of it…
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Joseph Carey Merrick lived his life in Victorian England as a "human novelty exhibit". As the infamous "Elephant Man" Merrick's grotesque appearance was sufficent to incite public outrage; he made women faint at the sight of him. Beneath his hideous deformities, however, lay the spirit of a sensitive, albeit wounded soul, with intelligence and respect for other living things, including those who'd wronged him.
Bodyshocked: Elephant Man Joseph Merrick and other 'vintage circus freaks'
Joseph Merrick photographed, c. Joseph Carey Merrick – sometimes incorrectly referred to as John Merrick, was an English man with severe deformities who was exhibited as a human curiosity named the Elephant Man.
The only surviving letter written by Merrick. The shop on Whitechapel Road was where Merrick was exhibited. The showmen named Merrick the Elephant Man, and advertised him as "Half-a-Man and Half-an-Elephant".