April 5,1948 - New York, NY - Johann Petursson, eight-feet-eight-inch giant from Iceland, gets acquainted with the Doll Family, midgets with the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, which opens at Madison Square Garden on April 7th. This is Petursson's first year with the circus, which is scheduled for a month in New York.
Johann Svarfdaelingur was billed as "The Icelandic Giant" or "The Viking Giant" and was actually born in Iceland in 1913, one of 9 kids. Since he began performing as early as 1935, he was well known in his native country and Europe before he came to the U.S. in 1948. He appeared in the movie "Prehistoric Women" (1950) and in "Carny" (1980) which starred Jodie Foster and Gary Busey. He can also be seen in the documentary "Being Different" (1981). Johann lived in the U.S. till 1982 when he returned to his native country. He died in Dalvik, Iceland in 1984.