We all know Pepper from American Horror Story. She's one of the first characters to ever cross over to another season, and that is because fans love her. The actress who plays Pepper is very much normal, but the character is based on a real person who looked almost the same.
The person in question is an actor who goes by the name of Schlitze Surtees or Schlitzie. We understand that Schlitzie was born sometime around 1901, though, no one is really certain of this since he was disabled mentally and unable to put his words together properly.
We know that Schlitzie only stood around 4 feet tall and managed to get a job around 1920. He went on from there to get his first movie role in 1928. Schlitzie starred in another film in 1932 called Freaks. He played a female version of himself. His inclusion in the movie was highly controversial.
At the time, folks weren't so open to the idea of people with disabilities -- the way Schlitzie did -- taking part in movies. However, Freaks had gone on to gather a cult-like following.
We understand that Schlitzie starred in two other films after Freaks' disappointing draw. However, he didn't garner any roles after the last two movies since viewers were against "freaks" performing in movies.
Years down the line, Schlitzie met a chimpanzee trainer who goes by the name of George Surtees. As it turns out, Surtees chose to adopt Schlitzie in 1941, completely becoming his legal guardian.
However, things didn't end the way one would have expected. Surtees died in 1965, and his daughter threw Schlitzie into a mental hospital. Because his main talent in life was performing for the people, being locked up caused him to venture down into a deep depression.
He wouldn't have stayed long in the hospital; a sword swallower, who was known as Bill Unks, brought Schlitzie back to performing on the streets of Hollywood. He would keep doing what he loved best until 1968. He died in 1971 and was buried in an unmarked grave.
Back in 2008, fans of the movie Freaks gathered up donations to have a headstone placed on Schlitzie's grave.