FANTASY ISLAND/ABC/1978-84 (Little Person & Injured leg)
Tattoo (Herve Villechaize/costar) , 3-foot 11-inch mischievous manservant dressed in a white suit who worked on the mysterious Fantasy Island where dreams came true.
When the airplane bearing guests to the island was seen on the horizon, Tattoo rushed to ring the bell in the mansion tower. There, he bellowed his catchphrase, “De plane!, De plane!”
Note: Villechaize left the series in 1983 over a salary dispute. In 1988, Villechaize wrote “I am a man trapped in a boy’s body. I accept it. But I do not have to like it.”
On September 4, 1994 Herve Villechaize mortally shot himself in the chest on the patio of his Los Angeles home. A suicide note revealed that, although he “loved everybody,” he could no longer bear his ailments. He had suffered medical problems from his undersized lungs and nearly died of pneumonia the year before.
The Paris-born actor wanted to allow a doctor specializing in dwarfism to study his remains and then he wanted to be cremated and his ashes distributed at sea.
Ricardo Montalban who costarred on the series also had a physical disability. Back in 1951, Montalban was thrown from his horse while portraying an Indian in Across the Wide Missouri (1951), a western starring Clark Gable. He landed on his back and suffered a spinal hemorrhage. The Mexican born-actor still had a telltale limp from that accident.