Famous Little People (hardback)
As pointed out in Jeff Tonda’s book Famous Little People, the size and importance of one’s achievements is not necessarily relevant to the physical size of the individual.
Famous Little People presents an informative, engaging and affectionate look at those who might be small in stature but large in talent.
Tonda’s book offers not just incisive entertainment biographies but references the accomplishments those of diminutive height have made throughout history, from Biblical times onward.
While Little People were featured in roles during the silent era and into early Hollywood talkies, perhaps the first film to highlight and bring audience awareness to these unique individuals was the 1939 MGM classic The Wizard of Oz, wherein dozens were cast as the citizens of Munchkinville.
Tonda also examines how Little People were exploited in cinema, such as in the Jed Buell musical western The Terror of Tiny Town.
Little People have been featured in hundreds of motion pictures and television programs throughout the decades, these roles providing welcome employment, but often frustration and disappointment because of restrictive typecasting.
The stories presented in Tonda’s book feature both triumph and tragedy, focusing on the personal and professional highs and lows experienced by Little People working in show business. From early screen performers like Billy Curtis, Jerry Maren and Billy Barty to Gary Coleman, Herve Villechaize and Warwick Davis, the book is an honest and sensitive account of how they navigated their lives and careers, sometimes to success, other times to a sad finale. Some of the stories are humorous, others poignant. Famous Little People recognizes and indeed celebrates the courage of those who did not surrender to their physical limitations and went on to form professional careers. Just as importantly, Tonda’s book serves as an inspiration – to people of all sizes that even against difficult odds, the rainbow is not always beyond reach.