Chris Costner Sizemore
Christine "Chris" Costner Sizemore (April 4, 1927 – July 24, 2016) was an American woman who, in the 1950s, was diagnosed with multiple personality disorder, now known as dissociative identity disorder. Her case, with a pseudonym used, was depicted in the 1950s book The Three Faces of Eve, written by her psychiatrists, Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley, upon which a film that starred Joanne Woodward was based. She went public with her true identity in the 1970s.
Chris Costner Sizemore
April 4, 1927
|Died||July 24, 2016 (aged 89)|
Ocala, Florida, U.S.
|Known for||Dissociative identity disorder case depicted in The Three Faces of Eve|
In accordance with then-current modes of thought on the disorder, Thigpen reported that Sizemore had developed multiple personalities as a result of her witnessing two deaths and a horrifying accident within three months as a small child. However, in Sizemore's own report, these traumatic incidents only triggered the evidencing of selves which were already present: "Despite authorities' claims to the contrary, my former alters were not fragments of my birth personality. They were entities, whole in their own rights, who coexisted with my birth personality before I was born. They were not me, but they remain intrinsically related to what it means to be me."
While The Three Faces of Eve was written by Thigpen and Cleckley with limited input from Sizemore, her later books I'm Eve (1977) and A Mind of My Own (1989) fill in details. Much earlier, in 1958, she had written Strangers in My Body: The Final Face of Eve, using the pseudonym of Evelyn Lancaster. According to psychiatrists who worked with her after her treatment with Thigpen and Cleckley, it was not until Sizemore was in the care of Virginia doctor, Tony Tsitos, that Sizemore did not experience three selves but instead more than 20 personalities were unified. It was reported that her selves were presented in groups of three at a time.
Sizemore reported feeling exploited and objectified by the media blitz surrounding the book and film. Upon discovering, in 1988, that her legal rights to her own life story had been signed away to 20th Century Fox by Thigpen, Sizemore went to Manhattan's Federal District Court to contest the contract. She accepted an out-of-court settlement, and no further films were made.
Sizemore's papers, covering 1952 through 1989, have been acquired by the Duke University Library. An overview of the collection and a summary of Sizemore's story are included on its website.
- "The Chris Costner Sizemore Papers". Rubenstein Library, Duke University.
- Costner, Chris (1989). A Mind of My Own: The Woman Who Was Known as "Eve" Tells the Story of Her Triumph over Multiple Personality Disorder. William Morrow & Co..
- Weber, Bruce (August 5, 2016). "Chris Costner Sizemore, Patient Behind 'The Three Faces of Eve,' Dies at 89". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
- Costner, Chris; with Pittillo, Elen (1977). I'm Eve: The Compelling Story of the International Case Of Multiple Personality. Doubleday & Co., Inc..
- Bernstein, Adam (July 29, 2016). "Chris Sizemore, whose many personalities were the real 'Three Faces of Eve,' dies at 89". Retrieved November 6, 2017 – via www.WashingtonPost.com.
- Sizemore covers this in detail in A Mind of My Own.
- "The Real 'Eve' Sues to Film the Rest of Her Story". The New York Times. February 7, 1989.
- David van Biema; Meg Grant (March 27, 1989). "Three Faces of Eve Told Her Story, Now Chris Sizemore Is Battling a Major Studio over Movie Rights and Wrongs". People.
- Entertainment Tonight. Interview with Sizemore and Bobbi Edricks. Spring 1989. RealAudio stream here Archived 2016-07-04.
- Doniger, Wendy (1999). Splitting the Difference: Gender and Myth in Ancient Greece and India (Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion). University Of Chicago Press. p. 84.
- Kirby, Bill (July 29, 2016). "Chris Sizemore, '3 Faces of Eve' subject, dies". chronicle.augusta.com. The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
- Chris Costner Sizemore, Patient Behind ‘The Three Faces of Eve’ - New York Times Obituary
- 15 Years After Recovery, 'Eve' Enjoys the Best of Her 22 Personalities - Article in Deseret News, Utah News organisation