Daisy Earles (April 29, 1907 – March 15, 1980) was a German dwarf who moved to America early 1920s. She worked in Hollywood films in California before touring with circuses. Daisy Earles was blonde, attractive, and tall compared to her older sisters, with a very well proportioned figure that earned her the nickname “miniature Mae West.” Her circus acts were as “parade performers” alongside her siblings.
Daisy Earles was born Hilda Emma Schneider in Stolpen, Germany, on April 29, 1907. Emma and Gustav Schneider were her parents. Their three shorter-than-average-height daughters immigrated to the United States. Their father urged them to work in the entertainment industry, taking advantage of their “hypopituitary” dwarf status.
Daisy Earles was most remembered for her role in the 1932 film “Freaks.” However, the picture was deemed horrific and was aired in the United States with many cuts, was banned in England, and was dubbed “brutal and repulsive” in Canada. Earles made her cinematic debut in the 1928 film Three-Ring Marriage.
In The Wizard of Oz, she and her siblings Tiny, Grace, and Harry appeared as “Munchkins” in a song and dance sequence down the Yellow Brick Road (1939). Despite being well known as “The Doll Family,” they were not given individual credits in the film. Instead, they were referred to as “The Singer Midgets.” She had a minor uncredited appearance in 1952’s The Greatest Show on Earth, for which she received an award for her “blink-and-you-miss-it” snapshot.
Her later life
Daisy retired from cinema acting in 1952, following a cameo appearance in The Greatest Show on Earth. She and her siblings continued to act as “parade performers” in “sideshows” for the Ringling Brothers Circus and Barnum & Bailey Circus for 30 seasons. In 1958, they all retired.
Daisy moved to Sarasota, Florida, with her three siblings after retiring. Daisy died in March 1980 at the age of 72, and three documentaries on her and her siblings were released after her death.