Greetings, Manic Fans. Les here to spotlight those actors with great talent, but small stature. Yes, I’m speaking of Dwarves and Midgets who shine in the film or television roles other actors are just too tall to portray, and make them memorable. And so I’m going to list my top 12 favorite short actors and some of the roles they are/were famous for. This list isn’t ranked.


Warning: Some spoilers and big hearted short people ahead…


Honorable mentions:


The Munchkins


These small folk weren’t given individual credits in “The Wizard of Oz,” but the film wouldn’t have been nearly as magical had it not been for their amazing work.

The Oompa Loompas


“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” wouldn’t have had quite as great an impact without these odd factory workers who always had a helpful song/dance routine ready to teach a lesson about good manners.


And now, onto the main list.


Warwick Davis


At age 12, he was cast in “Return of the Jedi” as the Ewok, Wicket when Kenny Baker was too ill to perform it. From that part, Warwick played role after role in a wide range of films. What was he in?….

He was aspiring Nelwyn wizard, Willow Ufgood in Ron Howard’s “Willow.”

He was the nefarious Leprechaun in the horror series “Leprechaun.”

He was a dwarf in the giant nation in the 1996 made for tv version of “Gulliver’s Travels.”

He was Professor Flitwick in the Harry Potter series of films.

He was the club emcee Oberon in “Ray.”

He was the body of Marvin, the paranoid android in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

He was the Dwarf Nikabrik in “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.”

He played Gringott’s Goblin Griphook in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”

He played Porridge: AKA: The Emperor of the Galaxy in the Modern Doctor Who.

I’ve enjoyed his work from role 1, and he’s never let me down in anything I’ve seen him in. I’m looking forward to seeing him in an undisclosed role in the new Star Wars film, “The Force Awakens.”


Kenny Baker


He is R2-D2 in the Star Wars films…and after losing “Wicket” to Warwick Davis, he played the Ewok Paploo(The one who stole an Imperial Speeder Bike) after he was well again. He also had roles in “Time Bandits,” “The Elephant Man,” “Willow,” “Flash Gordon,” “Amadeus” and “Labyrinth.”


David Rappaport


A very well known English Dwarf actor, I had the pleasure to see him in Terry Gilliam’s “Time Bandits,” where he played Randal, the leader of a gang of dwarfs working for the almighty spirit, who steal a map to all the time holes in the fabric of reality and decide to use it to get rich pilfering historical treasures.


Verne Troyer


This talented actor/stuntman has attained much notice in one of the most successful film series in modern times. He played Mini Me in the “Austin Powers” films.


Martin Klebba


Ask yourself….would Captain Jack Sparrow’s crew be the same without Marty the pirate?


Debbie Lee Carrington


This Dwarf actress/stuntwoman has been in many roles in film and television, but the role that I noticed her first in was in “Total Recall” as a working girl named “Thumbelina” at the Martian whorehouse in Venusville. In an action scene, she knives a bad guy and grabs an uzi and cleans up house…she’s awesome.


Herve Villechaize


I’m dating myself here, but I used to love “Fantasy Island”(the show that came on ABC television on Saturdays after “The Love Boat”) and a lot of its charms can be attributed to the French actor who rang the bell and shouted “The Plane!…The Plane!” to alert the islanders that new visitors were coming. However, before that, he played Nick Knack, the servant of Francisco Scaramanga, AKA The Man with the Golden Gun(Christopher Lee), and really stole the scenes he was in.


Billy Barty


Veteran actor, he was one of the most prolific character midget actors in the 1950s, 1960’s and 1970’s. I used to watch him with actor John Colicos in the Kroft Saturday Morning show “Dr. Shrinker.” Moviefan12 might be interested to know, he supplied the voice of “Figment” in Epcot Center’s Journey Into Imagination.


Jack Purvis


Another prolific English Dwarf actor, Jack appeared as several short aliens in the Star Wars films, including the lead Jawa, Teebo and the chief Ugnaught. He also played characters in “Brazil,” “Time Bandits,” and had the role of Gustavus in “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.”


Michael Dunn


An active Dwarf actor in the 1960’s he played James West(William Conrad) arch-enemy, Doctor Loveless in “The Wild Wild West.” However, I first saw him as the Dwarf Alexander in the Star Trek TOS episode, “Plato’s Stepchildren.” He acted with tremendous heart and passion.


Danny DeVito


Gaining noteriety as Taxi dispatcher Louie DaPalma on the hit sitcom, “Taxi,” this talented actor/director has been in many films and shows I loved. “Ruthless People,” “Throw Momma from the Train,” “The War of the Roses,” “Other People’s Money,” “One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Hoffa,” “Get Shorty,” “Twins,” “Romancing the Stone,” “The Jewel of the Nile,” “Walt Disney’s Hercules,” and even “Batman Returns,” as the Penguin(I may have serious problems with the film, but DeVito’s performance wasn’t one of them).  Oh, and before anyone says it…he was in “It’s always sunny in Philadelphia.”  I still need to see that.


Peter Dinklage


One of the newest stars, has hit stardom in his role as Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” You might recognize him as the Dwarf who attacked Will Ferrel in “Elf.” He was cast as Trumpkin the Dwarf in “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.” He also played Bolivar Trask recently in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”


And those are my 12 favorite Midget/Dwarf actors in film and television. Did I miss any of yours? I’d love to know what short actor you admire, my friends. Peace.

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