American Horror Story: Freak Show actress Rose Siggins, who grew up in Pueblo, died in Denver on Saturday, December 12. She was just 43-years-old.
Siggins's death is the second this year to strike a member of the Freak Show cast, and her fellow actors have responded with grief mixed with gratitude for having met and worked with such a remarkable person.
In AHS: Freak Show, among the most popular installments of the FX anthology series from Glee and Scream Queens creator Ryan Murphy, Siggins portrayed a character with the self-explanatory name Legless Suzi.
Suzi didn't simply occupy the background during a season that featured Academy Award-winning actresses Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates. She played a significant role in the unfolding of the narrative, segments of which came across as an overt tribute to Freaks, director Tod Browning's macabre 1932 chiller.
We're guessing plenty of people assumed that Rose's physical appearance was created digitally.
But no: She truly had no legs.
Here's the introduction, shared under the heading "Living Life at Two Feet Six:"
I was born with a rare genetic disorder, known as Sacral Agenesis. If I was born today, my medical diagnosis could have been called Spinal Bifida. These two disabilities are very similar and very slightly. My legs were severely deformed with the feet pointing in opposite directions. This was not painful for me because I had no feeling in them. When you are an active child, at age two, your legs can become a danger to you. At this young age my parents consulted with several doctors, surgeons and specialists to find the best coarse of action for the useless legs. The big question weighing on my parents mind. Do we amputate? Or not? We could have her fitted into a wheelchair. What do you think they decided to do? There insightful decision allows me to lead a fairly normal childhood.
While growing up on a ranch in Pueblo with her mentally challenged brother, Siggins described her situation to the curious like so: "If you take a Barbie doll and remove her legs, the region your left with is the exact same region I have. I have all the female working organs/parts."
Indeed, she eventually had two children, Luke and Shelby, who are prominently mentioned on a GoFundMe page created to raise money for their support.
Here's an excerpt from that page:
Rose Siggins is why we're here - an infinitely strong woman who isn’t strong enough this time. She, Luke, and Shelby need our help through this tough time. Rose is currently in the hospital and the outlook on her current health is grim. All funds raised will be used for the care of her children Luke and Shelby now. Once a path for care is set it will then be used for recovery, medical, and any other related expenses.
Thus far, no details about the cause of Siggins's death have been revealed, but she's said to have been in declining health.
Her last Facebook post dates from September. following her appearance at the Scare Fest in Lexington, Kentucky.
The filmography for Siggins on IMDB.com lists a number of appearances as herself in programs such as Ripley's Believe It or Not!, Extraordinary People and Born Different: Unbelievable Medical Conditions.
However, she is by far best known for American Horror Story: Freak Show.
Plenty of her co-stars tweeted after the news of her death broke over the weekend.
This message is from Sarah Paulson.
Paulson also shared this Vine, which is loaded with images of Siggins.
Denis O'Hare, who's also featured in the current season of AHS, encouraged donations in this tweet....
Today we mourn Rose Siggins who died today. Please consider helping the two children she leaves behind. https://t.co/dCdYjVjuRv— Denis O'Hare (@denisohare) December 12, 2015
...and Angela Bassett retweeted this photo of Siggins and Freak Show actor Ben Woolf, who died in February after being struck by a car.
Although Siggins is gone, the legacy of her strength and artistry lives on.
Our sincere condolences to the friends, family, loved ones and fans of Rose Siggins.
Here's a featurette from American Horror Story: Freak Show spotlighting Siggins.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.