Hungarian-born performer Mihaly "Michu" Meszaros, who portrayed the title character ALF in costume, has passed away at the age of 76. The actor was found unresponsive at his home in Los Angeles last week and taken to a local hospital, and he had been in a coma ever since. The actor, who stood just 2'9" and was the self-proclaimed "smallest man alive," had been suffering from health problems after he had a stroke eight years ago.
TMZ confirmed Michu Meszaros' death with his manager, Dennis Varga. The manager told the site last week that he had strict instructions from his client not to take him off of life support. No specifics were given about how he slipped into a coma, or if an autopsy will be performed.
Mihaly "Michu" Meszaros was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1939, and he started out as a circus performer for Ringling Brothers. He started his acting career on NBC's Alf, appearing in 10 episodes in the show's four-season run. While the title character was created and voiced by puppeteer Paul Fusco, Michu Meszaros would don the costume during episodes when full body shots were needed of Alf. He was also credited as a "personal assistant" to Alf during the show's four-season run on NBC, between 1986 and 1990.
He also appeared in movies such as Waxwork, Big Top Pee-Wee, Warlock: The Armageddon and Freaked in minor roles. Mihaly "Michu" Meszaros also guest starred in an episode of Dear John, and served as a stunt double on the 1989 comedy Look Who's Talking Too. His final role was as a Leprechaun in the 2015 short film Death to Cupid. We reported several years ago that an Alf movie was in development at Sony Pictures Animation, which was said to be a live-action/CGI hybrid, but we haven't heard anything further about this project since then.
The actor also became close friends with the iconic Michael Jackson in the 1980s, and was a regular fixture at his Neverland Ranch. He even appeared in two Pepsi commercials with the late singer. The actor's manager has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover his funeral and medical costs. We'll be sure to keep you posted with more updates on the death of Alf star Mihaly "Michu" Meszaros.