Sunday, July 23, 2006

Carrie Holt

Born in 1894 in Michigan, young Carrie was always a chubby girl. By the time she was 21 she weighed a rugged 321 pounds. Despite her stout stature, she landed a nice, thin husband. However, his love wasn’t strong enough to support his ever-growing wife. He left, and Holt joined the circus. Weighing 468 pounds, she served as a fat lady in the 1920s for Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey and at Coney Island. Some reports say she eventually eclipsed the 500-pound mark. Still, she was practically a twig next to fellow fatter lady, 689-pound Jolly Irene. But unlike Irene, Holt could waddle about with relative ease. Perhaps this helped her land a role over her portly peer in Broadway’s Sunny at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
According to one medical account, Holt had “insufficient thyroid secretion, which may be due to excessive secretion of some other gland or it may be due to a small, inactive thyroid.” That, and a very hearty appetite.


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