LOS ANGELES — Michu Meszaros, an actor who brought the titular alien in ’80s sitcom “Alf” to life, has died. He was 76.
Meszaros was reportedly found unresponsive in his Los Angeles home about a week ago by his manager, Dennis Vargas, according to TMZ, which first reported the news. He apparently spent several days in a coma.
A GoFundMe page was recently launched to help Meszaros with medical expenses, as he struggled with health issues up until his death, and funeral costs. The organizer of the page, Richard Leo LaMotte, wrote on his Facebook page that the actor had died.
Meszaros, standing at just 2 feet 9 inches tall, was born in Hungary. He performed in the circus before heading to TV, and he was billed as the “smallest man in the world” as he worked in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in the ’70s. He performed for the likes of Michael Jackson, who became good friends with Meszaros.
Meszaros’ biggest claim to fame, however, is “Alf.” The alien, voiced by Paul Fusco, was typically only shown from the waist-up, with puppeteers controlling his movements. For shots that required Alf’s whole body to be shown, though, Meszaros appeared on camera, wearing the full-body costume.
The popular NBC sitcom followed the furry alien who lived with an Earth family after crashing into their garage. The show also starred Anne Schedeen, Max Wright, Benji Gregory and Andrea Elson.
His additional TV credits include episodes of “Dear John” and “H.R. Pufnstuf,” and he also appeared in movies “Looks Who’s Talking” and “Big Top Pee-wee.”