[Featured image courtesy Showtime Entertainment.]
Rose Siggins, 43, a beloved member of the American Horror Story: Freak Show family, passed away the morning of December 12.
On the previous Monday, she had gone in for surgery to help with her kidney stones. She developed an infection while still in the hospital, which unfortunately turned fatal.
Born with Sacral Agenesis, Rose had her legs amputated at the young age of 2 leaving her with a unique body shape and her 2′ 6” stature. Without her legs she had to wear rather painful prosthetics in order to move around, but this didn’t fit into her view of normalcy. So, she decided a skateboard was the best way to achieve her freedom with the minimal amount of pain. Ever since then, she has used her idiosyncratic method to get around.
Growing up without any legs is sure to attract people’s attention along with their stares. There was one person, however, who could see her for who she really was. Dave Siggins, an employee at an auto parts store which, one can speculate, Rose, and her love for all things car and engine related, frequented (until her death she was working to restore a 1968 Mustang). The two fell in love and eventually got married. A few years later she would give birth to her son, Luke, with ease. And later, amongst doctors’ concerns, had a daughter, Shelby. Luke is now 16 years old and Shelby is 4.
However, this deformity did not slow her down one bit. Those stares and gawks people would give her prepared her for the voyeuristic nature of television. She appeared on the first episode of Ripley’s Believe it or Not back in 2000, followed by a few other TV documentaries in the vein of unreal medical conditions. In 2005, she was in Extraordinary People, and in 2010 she was a part of Born Different: Unbelievable Medical Conditions.
Eventually earning the nickname “The Woman with Half a Body”, she is, perhaps, best remembered for her role as Legless Suzi in the fourth season of American Horror Story: Freak Show. The show used her actual diagnosis, her actual age/story of how she lost her legs, and her actual body to bring a bit of practical realism to the show in an ever-growing, computer-generated surrealist world. Rose is like Legless Suzi, only with regards to her physicality.
Rose, unlike the frightened Suzi from the show, had a family who loved her and cared for her. Suzi, really, had no other choice but to become a part of the “freak show” to exploit her deformity–it was her only way to make money and survive, while Rose was able to hold down a job act and live a normal live. Despite the differences of Rose’s psyche and the time she lived, she was able to offer up numerous magnificent performances throughout the season.
Throughout her entire life, she danced a tango with her uniqueness and her idea of normalcy. Holding the belief that “because we’re different doesn’t mean we’re entirely different. We’re just like you, we just come in different forms.”
And she truly was just like anyone else. She had loving parents, like us. She fell in love, like us. She had her dream wedding, like us. She created a loving family, like us. She was human, no more no less. Just like us.
Along with the support on social media from cast-mates and fans alike, there is a GoFundMe campaign (already over $5000 dollars in one day!) set up in her honor to provide financial help for her family.