March 20, 2015 In remembrance of American Horror Story’s Ben Woolf
Some people leave a lasting impression, even if they are only around for a short period of time. Actor Ben Woolf was one of those people. Born on September 15, 1980, Benjamin Eric Woolf grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado and was diagnosed with pituitary dwarfism at a young age, a condition which caused his bones to shrink. As an adult, he stood only four feet, three and half inches tall. Raised in Fairfield, Iowa, he discovered an interest in acting after he played the Dormouse in his Fairfield High School production of Alice in Wonderland, and continued on after that with Improv and theatre. Acting was not his only passion; Woolf also loved children and was a preschool teacher before making it big in acting. In an interview with The New York Times, he said he loved teaching “because when you’re with children, you kind of live in a different world that doesn’t have any rules,” adding, “It’s more imagination.” He became well-known through movies and TV shows over the past few years, but on February 23, 2015, tragedy struck as he passed away at the age of thirty-four after being hit by a car.
Woolf began focusing on his acting/entertainment career when he moved to the California in 2010 and became a member of Art Saves Lives: A Guerilla Street Theater Company. He had had several acting jobs through the company, which eventually lead him to bigger roles, including several characters on the popular FX series, American Horror Story. In the first season, known as Murder House (2011), Woolf played the Infantata, a murdered child who had been resurrected by his insane physician father, only to live forever in pain and torment. During this past season, the fourth one for the series and known as Freak Show, he played the sideshow geek known as Meep, where he would dress in a feathery blue costume and spent his time biting the heads off of chickens. Besides American Horror Story, he played several roles including an unaccredited role as the dancing boy in Insidious (2010), the character of Little Dude in Woogie (2012) and Squeak in Dead Kansas (2013). Woolf will also play Rusty Rex in the upcoming Tales of Halloween (2015) alongside John Landis, Adrienne Barbeau, Lin Shaye, and Adam Green.
His promising career was cut short when, on February 19th of this year, Woolf was struck by the side-view mirror of a passing car on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, and four days later, died after suffering a stroke from the injuries he sustained in the accident. Ryan Murphy, the writer and producer of American Horror Story, tweeted, “RIP Ben Woolf. One of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met.” Other fellow cast members from American Horror Story sent out tweets about Ben’s death, including Sarah Paulson (American Gothic TV series, 12 Years A Slave 2013), who posted, “Ben Woolf, we will never forget you. RIP,” Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past 2014, Lazarus Effect 2015), who tweeted a picture of himself and Ben and stated, “God broke our hearts to prove to us, he only takes the best. Rest in peace little angel,” and Finn Whitrock (All My Children TV series, Unbroken 2014), who wrote, “Rest in peace Ben Woolf. There never was a sweeter guy. You will be missed.” Others have also expressed their loss. “Ben was one-of-a-kind, and will never be forgotten,” came from a statement from Woolf’s agency, ZTPR. “The time we all shared together will be remembered forever.”
A statement from Woolf’s family read, “We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from all over the world for our beloved Ben. He touched so many hearts in his thirty-four years. His memory will live on within each of us and within his work.” Woolf’s father, Nick, says fans can honor Ben by donating to The Ben Woolf Fund, a memorial fund that will be used to purchase park “BENches,” or a donation to one his favorite charities like Little People Of America and the Story Teller Children’s Center. The family is planning a themed memorial for the actor in Santa Barbara on March 21st with the entire cast of American Horror Story invited. The loss of Ben Woolf has affected people across the world – celebrities and fans alike – but the world will always remember his iconic horror roles and the big heart that shined from his little body. “We’re all freaks in our way. If there were no freaks, then everyone would be normal.” – Ben Woolf.