Born: April 23, 1943
Died: September 4, 1993
Herve Villechaize gained fortune and instant recognition for his role as Tattoo (“De plane! De Plane!”) in the hit TV series Fantasy Island.
Then there was his juicy role as the evil Nick Nack in the 1974 James Bond flick The Man with the Golden Gun.
So what went wrong, leading him to a write an (almost indiscernible) suicide note on a sheet of loose-leaf paper? The salary demands that 3-foot, 10-inch midget (he insisted that he not be referred to as a dwarf) made, along with his constant sexual harassment of females on the set and quarrels with the producers, got him fired. Suffering from ulcers, a spastic colon and the effects of several strokes, the actor would sit in a darkened room, hurling obscenities at reruns of Fantasy Island.
During the early morning hours of September 4, he disabled every phone in the house then shot himself in the backyard, using two pillows to muffle the sound as not to disturb his girlfriend Kathy Self who accompanied him to a private screening of Harrison Ford’s The Fugitive earlier that evening.
He had a tape recorder with him; the tape (unlike the note) was clearer: “Kathy, I can’t live like this anymore. I’ve always been a proud man and always wanted to make you proud of me. You know you made me feel like a giant and that’’s how I want you to remember me.” After a bit more rambling he said “I’m doing what I have to do. I want everything to go to Kathy. I want everyone to know that I love them.”
Morbid Curiosity, By Alan W. Petrucelli