Bob first entered showbusiness in 1949 at Coney Island. From there, he played at "every state fair west of the Mississippi". When he married his longtime girlfriend Virginia in 1952, observers were heard to mutter that the match-up wouldn't last a year, but in fact it lasted more than forty. Professionally, Bob Melvin was known as The Man with Two Faces or the Modern Elephant Man, a nod to Joseph Merrick, who was believed (incorrectly) to suffer from NF also. He worked for Royal American Shows and Whitey Sutton and helped handle the bookkeeping for the sideshow. He also enjoyed a minor film career, appearing as a sanitorium inmate in Sisters (1973) and as a denizen of the underworld in The Sentinel (1977). In addition, Bob appeared in the documentaries Being Different (1981) and I Am Not a Freak (1987). Bob was a friendly, church-going man, beloved by all who knew him in the freak show and in his hometown of Lancaster. He and his wife Virginia had a daughter, who later gave the Melvins a grandson and granddaughter. Bob passed away in his hometown of Lancaster, Missouri, on November 19, 1995.
Special thanks to Slim Price for the stills from I Am Not A Freak.