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Hervé Villechaize

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Hervevillechaize

Herve Villechaize, left, and as Oscar's legs, right

Hervé Villechaize (1943-1993) was a French-born dwarf actor best known for his portrayal of Tattoo on the television series Fantasy Island. On Sesame Street, in the 1970s, Villechaize performed Oscar the Grouch as a pair of legs peeping out from a trash can, for scenes which required the Grouch to be mobile. These appearances began in the second season and included the 1978 Hawaii episodes.

Caroll Spinney recalled the Grouch's other half:

The first time he [Oscar] got to move around was when one of the writers had the idea of cutting the bottom of the can and making legs out of Oscar's green fur. A little person would be needed to get in this costume, and the man for the job was Hervé Villechaize, who I got to know. Later Hervé became famous for the role of Tattoo on Fantasy Island, but I had actually first seen him in a very strange play at Manhattan's La Mama Theater, in which he was riding around on a tall, skinny guy who was making chicken sounds. Hervé was an intellectual, very thoughtful, and quite an artist.[1]

Outside of Fantasy Island and Sesame Street, Villechaize played Nick Nack, the murderous henchman to Scaramanga, in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. His other movie credits included such varied titles as The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight (with Paul Benedict), Seizure, Forbidden Zone, and Airplane II: The Sequel. His brother, Patrick Villechaize, directed episodes of the French co-production of Fraggle Rock.

Sources

  1. Spinney, Caroll. The Wisdom of Big Bird. p. 61

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