Celebrated Dwarves & Midgets

WhistlingJack

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#1
We don't seem to have a thread on this subject, so I'll use this story to initiate one: -

India's shortest actor makes waves

By John Mary, Trivandrum

He is 2ft 5in tall (76cm), weighs 28kg (61 pounds), and is already a film star.

South Indian actor Ajay Kumar has surely turned the logic of a hero on its head.

In his debut feature, Atbhutha Dweep (Wonder Island), Kumar performs stunts, rides a horse at 45 kph and cavorts with a lover.

The film, with a cast of 360 dwarfs defending their kingdom, has been a box-office hit.

"I think the image of hero has changed. I am not glamorous like other superstars but viewers like the talented, character artiste in me," says the shortest actor in Indian cinema.

Director Vinayan is full of praise for new 28-year-old Kumar, who is also an economics graduate.

"When he approached me after his degree for a role, I simply laughed and taunted him, asking him what he thought of marriage. 'Sir I want to marry a tall girl,' he said. That's what made me cast him in a lead role with the tall princess in Atbhutha Dweep," he says.

Kumar has already acted in 18 films - his latest hit is a Tamil movie, Dinshum, in which he again plays the hero.

Although Kumar lost his princess to the villain in the film, in real life he recently won the hand of a girl much taller than him.

Gayatri, 19, a government health inspector, stands more than twice as high at 5ft 2 ins.

"It's been an arranged marriage. But nobody compelled me into wedlock. I like him and feel secure in his hands," says the bride.

Ajay Kumar questioned her for nearly three-and-a-half hours before popping the question himself.

"Marrying a girl of normal height has been a dream ever since a girl spurned me at college. Jilted, of course, but sure it steeled my resolve," says Kumar.

He is currently filming on the sets of a popular television series, Five Star Thattukada (Wayside Eatery), at the lake village of Kumarakom in Kerala.

"We are looking forward to a long, prosperous life, and hope to be blessed with children with normal height," he says.

Hailing from Ayemanam, the village made famous by Booker prize-winner Arundhati Roy in her novel, The God of Small Things , Kumar comes across as every bit a fighter.

His mother Ambujakshy says her world "came crashing down" when they found out her son was a dwarf.

"It was a shock. My only prayer was my child should walk on his own," she says.

Her prayers were answered.

When Kumar was four, he climbed all 1,008 steps of the historic Subramanya temple at Palani in Tamil Nadu with his mother.

"It was a miracle. He climbed the steps, each half his body length. That was the ultimate test and I knew I'll never come to grief," said Ambujakshy, who used to carry her son to school.

Quite early on Kumar showed his talent, playing with tins and plates at home to make music.

The break came when he won a prize in story telling in primary school.

After school he began performing on stage.

"The little wonder was an instant hit on stage. There was never a dull moment with him and he began to earn enough to keep the family hearth burning," says his father Radhakrishna Pillai, a taxi driver, who has been fighting a slew of illnesses.

"He earned enough to pay for the marriage of my two daughters and has built two houses."

But when Kumar sought admission to a private school, the headmaster rebuked his parents in public, saying their son would not be able to climb the steps to the school.

"It was the first public ridicule from a person in authority. I used to brush aside taunts and sneers from mates. But this virtually sapped me," says Kumar.

When he entered college, his mother bought a scooter and the mother and son rode to the college and back. After a while, friends took over the chore of dropping him.

Now the ambitious little actor is aiming for a break in Hollywood.

"My star value has definitely gone up. I'm improving my English too, especially after a Hollywood director evinced interest in a re-make of Dweep," said the actor, who also set up an association of dwarfs.

The Kerala Small Men Association has 300 members across the state and is demanding what it calls "special recognition" from the government.

The men want job quotas, free bus rides and other facilities.

The association's height limit is 135cm (54 inches).


Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/04/03 11:36:21 GMT

© BBC MMVI
Scradje
 

citizencane

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#2
My favorite "little person" was Michael Dunn, The original Dr Loveless from the "wild wild west" TV series.
He devoted his life to the medical treatment and overall advancement of little people, founding the Michael Dunn foundation for these and other goals.
He even had special housing made for little people to stay in while undergoing medical treatment away from home. These structures were all scaled down to the appropriate size for smaller folks so they did not have to use chairs or ladders to go about everyday life,and best of all they were at no cost to the tennants.
They were called "stay free mini pads". ;)
 

JamesWhitehead

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#4
My favourite dwarfs are those in Herzog's fillum Even Dwarfs Started Small. Only dwarfs appear in the film. It is curious that the director who claims he admired and loved his cast of small people cannot remember a single one by name in his commentary on the DVD!

After those, my favourite must be the Parisian facial-contortionist called Le Clair. Nothing much remains of his ephemeral performances but he had consequences by inspiring the cartoon dwarf Mayeux:

http://www.btinternet.com/~j.b.w/rigo1.htm

About time that old web-shite had a make-over methinks! :shock:
 

citizencane

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#7
I was also a fan of Billy Barty, He also had an extensive film and TV career,
and became a regular on the Red Skelton show as well as guest starring on many comedies through the years.
 

GNC

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#8
Don't forget Barty's friend, the great Angelo Rossitto, who is probably best known for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, but had a long career in film and television, appearing in a large number of cult movies including the notorious Freaks.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0744441/
 

MrRING

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#10
Bridget Powers is a well-known adult actress and charming personaility who has appeared many times on Howard Stern's show.
American erotic film actress Bridget Powers, (sometimes credited as Bridget Powerz, Bridget "the Midget" Powers or Bridgette, was born October 11, 1980). She is a little person.

Her height is 3' 10" (1.17 m). She is a co-host on Ed Powers' radio show Bedtime Stories. She is also in a band named Blakkout. Her measurements are 28A-22-32.

She was discovered at a Goth nightclub by a woman casting for an adult movie.

In addition to her erotic film roles, she has appeared in mainstream films such as S.W.A.T. and independent films such as Tiptoes. She also appeared, as herself, in an episode of the television series The Roseanne Show.

She appeared as herself in the 2002 HBO documentary series Cathouse which explored the lives of the owners, management, staff and customers of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch brothel in Reno, Nevada. As "Bridget the Midget", she was featured in an episode of the History Channel series Wild West Tech.
 

nataraja

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#12
There's a fair list of them at the bottom of this Wikipedia page, altho it oddly doesn't include Rossitto, or the American comedian Tanya Lee Davis, who describes herself as "the Ferrari of comedy - low to the ground and kind of racy" :lol:
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#13
I mentioned this in passing on the tattoo thread but I spotted this interesting factoid:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herv%C3%A9_Villechaize

Villechaize suffered from dwarfism due to a thyroid dysfunction, despite his surgeon father's attempts to cure the disease in several institutions. In later years, he insisted on being called a midget, rather than "little person," irritating activists like Billy Barty.
Which sort of reminds me of the euphemism treadmill where euphemism can become utterly meaningless:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphemism# ... eadmill.22

I mean... "little person"? Midget and dwarf are quite specific terms but little person?

------------
Anyway some news (source has a photo):

Nepali Boy May Be World's Smallest Person

A 14-year-old Nepali boy who is only 50 centimetres (20 inches) tall has been put forward for a Guinness world record as the world's smallest person.

"We found out that a Jordanian boy holds a record in the Guinness Book of World Records and he is 25.5 inches tall. But Khagendra is 5.5 inches smaller than the Jordanian guy, so we sent an application to the Guinness Book of World Records", said Min Bahadur Rana, president of an organization set up to collect funds for the boy.

Fourteen-year-old Khagendra Thapa Magar weighs only 4.5 kilograms and will be taken on tour round Nepal to raise money.

"We show him in exhibitions to collect fund for his education, health and future", said his father in an interview.
www.thenewsvault.com/cgi/news.pl?t=567

See also this story of a newborn baby that taller than him:

www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 733#658733
 

TheQuixote

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#14
By all accounts the Dwarf Olympics is currently being held near to me, in fact I met up with some people this evening who had apparently just come from the 'Olympic Village'. I shall endeavour to find out more.
 

Xanatico

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#15
I had no idea there was such a thing. Is it actually called Dwarf Olympics rather than Little People Olympics?
 

ignatiusII

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#16
Two words: Weng Weng - late, lamented phillipino sex symbol, action hero and idol of millions - only made a handful of films, but they rank among some of the most...unique... ever made. Must be seen to be believed.
 

rynner2

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#17
Romeo Dev, the world's smallest bodybuilder
By Tom Chivers and agencies
Last Updated: 5:42pm GMT 12/02/2008

At 2'9" and a mere one and a half stone, Aditya "Romeo" Dev is the world's smallest bodybuilder.

Using custom-built 1.5kg dumbbells, Romeo, 19, pumps iron daily to prove that small is beautiful.

While most dwarfs have large heads compared to their bodies, Romeo is perfectly proportioned, and despite his diminutive stature has triceps, biceps, calves and thighs that would make many a full-grown man blush.

He was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records in 2006 following three months of intense exercise.

Large crowds regularly flock to watch him at his gym in Punjab, where as well as weight-training and push-ups Romeo is training to be a dancer.

"I've been training as a bodybuilder for the last two years and by now I think I must be the strongest dwarf in the world," said Romeo.

"I have always been fit but since I started working out I have become famous for my strength.

"My size has never stopped me. I train with dumbbells and do aerobics and dance. People are always pleased to see me – I have been invited on TV shows and dance on stage."

Ranjeet Pal, Romeo's trainer and a friend of his family who runs a gym in his home town of Phagwara, says that Romeo has never let his size get in his way. "Romeo trains more or less the same as anyone else and he's much more determined," he said.

"When he first started I insisted he did a month of basic exercises like aerobics, push-ups and basic gymnastics to prepare his body.

"After that I specially made lightweight dumbbells and taught him basic weight-lifting exercises to shape his biceps and triceps. His size and his weight were taken care of so that he never hurt himself."

Romeo is famous in his home country, and his father has spoken of his pride in his son's determination to overcome any difficulties in his path. "He has never been bothered at being so small. He has no inferiority complex. He is the jewel of our family."

Having made his way in to the record books, Romeo says that he wants to dance on stage. "My dream is to travel a lot – I want to perform in London with my idol, Jazzy-B," he says.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/12/wromeo112.xml&CMP=ILC-mostviewedbox

Photos on page

Edit: Link Resized. P_M
 

Xanatico

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#18
He seems fit, but not that muscular compared to other bodybuilders. I remember in Macy Grays video Sexual Revolution or something like that, she had a bodybuilder dwarf.
 

OldTimeRadio

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#19
Why in the world does it take somebody from the wrong side of the Pond to mention Jimmy Clitheroe? <g>
 

GNC

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#21
Here's a celebrated dwarf:
News story

He's an Australian kid who was bullied at school for his condition, his mother posted a video online of the poor guy's distress, and now he's one of the most famous and supported dwarfs in the world. In case you were thinking of giving up on humanity.
 

escargot

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#23
There's a nasty story going round on social media that the lad is actually a 17 or 19 year-old actor who's pulling a stunt to raise money. If so I don't think he could fool two entire rugby clubs!
 
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