Johan John “Johnny the Giant” Aasen

Photo added by Meg Ryberg

Johan John “Johnny the Giant” Aasen

Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA
Death 1 Aug 1938 (aged 48)
Talmage, Mendocino County, California, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Great Mausoleum, Columbarium of Protection, Niche 12373
Memorial ID 48074719 View Source
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John or Johan Aasen (Aason, Assen, Ansen, Ausin) was a circus and movie giant claiming to be "The tallest man in the world" This was not the truth, but he towered in heels and hat around 8'. In stocking feet he reached "only" 7'2"

He rose to fame in the 1920´ as a circus giant and movie actor. He was the giant in the Harold Lloyd movie "Why Worry" from 1923- and acted in a total of 12 movies:

Bengal Tiger (1936) (uncredited) .... Giant
Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936) (uncredited) Giant Man
Carnival (1935) Circus giant
Freaks - not verified (1932)
Show of shows (1929) kid brother
Growing Pains (1928) .... Circus giant
Should Married Men Go Home? (1928)(uncredited) Tall golfer
Say Uncle (1928) tall man
Legionnaires in Paris (1927) .... Shorty
... aka French Leave (UK)
Two Flaming Youths (1927) (uncredited) .... The Giant
The Sting of Stings (1927) .... Giant
... aka A Treat for the Boys (UK)
Long Fliv the King (1926) (uncredited) .... Giant Swordsman
Why Worry? (1923) (as Johan Aasen) .... Colosso

He was born i Minneapolis to Kristi and Alfred Aasen but grew up in Rigdeway, Iowa and Sheyenne ND. He worked in carnivals and sideshows before going to Hollywood. John toured as a giant to Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan and many other countries.

He worked for several circus/sideshow/vaudeville companies like Al G. Barnes, Sells Floto Circus, Foley and Burke, C.A Wortham, Rubin & Cherry. Fanchon and Marco, Robbins Bros. Circus, Dutton Circus.
He also worked in Sid Graumans "The Milliondollar Theater" in LA and toured also as a vaudeville performer- with burlesque dancer Ann Rice Leslie. John did several tours for Shriners and Elks.

He lived in Los Angeles for 14 years.

Aasen was a Master Mason in Highland Park Lodge and a member of the 233 Club.

He died at the Mendocino State Hospital august 1. 1938
Johan "donated" his body to science and The "Freak Doctor" Charles Humberd got his body for examination. His softparts where cremated and his ashes was later shiped back to California and to a Masonic service at Forest Lawn, Glendale. He rest in Columbarium of protection niche#12373, Gardenia Terrace. His mounted skeleton hung in dr. Humberd study until it ended up in Alfred Skryock museum in Loma Linda CA.


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  • Created by: Ben Lonrusten
  • Added: 13 Feb 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 48074719
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Johan John “Johnny the Giant” Aasen (5 Mar 1890–1 Aug 1938), Find a Grave Memorial ID 48074719, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Ben Lonrusten (contributor 46904820) .