Frank Lentini, The Three-Legged Performer

August 27, 2023 | Sarah Ng

Frank Lentini, The Three-Legged Performer


Frank Lentini was born with a parasitic twin, which meant that he had three legs, two genitals, and four feet. His unique appearance sealed his extraordinary destiny.


A Sad Childhood

Lentini’s parents were distraught by his birth. They held out hope that a doctor might be able to amputate their baby’s third leg—but it proved to be an impossible task. The procedure was too life-threatening. As such, Lentini became a disgrace to his family and an object of ridicule in his Italian hometown. People called him “the marvel” or “little monster.” Little did he know, by the time he was 10 years old, he’d be famous.

In 1898, nine-year-old Lentini traveled from Italy to America with his father. Here, Lentini was able to attract audiences rather than drive them away. He was a sensation wherever he went, and only a year later, he became one of the biggest acts in the Ringling Bros. circus.

Portrait Of Frank Lentini The Three-Legged BoyBettmann, Getty Images

Destined For Fame And Fortune

Lentini had many titles as a performer, from “The Three-Legged Sicilian” to “The Greatest Medical Wonder of All Time.” On tour, he became known for his self-deprecating sense of humor. Though his deformity became the punchline for all of his jokes, he was also extremely proud of his appearance. In the end, it helped him reach fame and fortune beyond his wildest dreams. But that wasn’t all.

Lentini’s numerous extremities never failed him in the romance department. Thanks to his intellect and overall charisma, he enjoyed two relationships during his lifetime, and had four children. Though he had a rough start, Lentini later confessed, “I’ve never complained. I think life is beautiful and I enjoy living it.” 


More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran



Dear reader,


Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your time!


Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your help!


Warmest regards,



The Factinate team




Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.