Bill Durks

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Bill Durks

William Durks (born April 13, 1914 in Jasper; died May 7, 1975 in Gibsonton, Florida) was a circus sideshow attraction, billed as "The Man With Three Eyes" or "The Man With Three Eyes and Two Noses".

Durks was born with frontonasal dysplasia, a condition in which the symmetrical halves of the head fail to fuse together normally, giving him a deep cleft upper lip, an open palate, and a space between the two halves of his nose. The condition also left him blind in one eye. His parents kept him out of sight and he was unwelcome in the public schools.

In the 1920s Durks attended a local fair and was recruited for the sideshow by the touring exhibitors. He painted a "third eye" in the middle of his brow and began a career as a star attraction that lasted for four decades, including runs with the Kelly-Sutton Shows, Gooding's Million Dollar Midway, Hall & Christ Shows, James E. Strates Shows and Hubert's Museum. His fellow performers helped him negotiate performing contracts and to overcome his social awkwardness. Melvin "The Anatomical Wonder" Burkhart befriended Durks and taught him to read. He also introduced him to Mildred, "The Alligator-Skinned Woman". They married and appeared together as "The World's Strangest Married Couple" until her death in June 1968. Durks retired to Florida and died seven years later.