Sunday, September 23, 2012

The People Inside Some Famous Costumes

I thought this would make an interesting post. I could be wrong. What do you think?

1)  BIG BIRD = Carroll Spinney:  In addition to dressing up inside the big yellow bird and giving voice to him, Spinney has also been the puppeteer and voice of Oscar The Grouch for many, many years.

Spinney with his alter-ego, Big Bird

2)  CHEWBACCA = Peter Mayhew:  British-born Mayhew portrayed the giant Wookiee in four of the six Star Wars films. By the way, his height isn't a special effect. Mayhew is 7' 3" tall.

Mayhew as Chewbacca (left) with Han Solo (Harrison Ford, right)

Peter Mayhew, as himself

3)  ALF = Mihaly "Michu" Meszaros:  This 2' 9" Hungarian actor wore the ALF costume only in scenes when the character's entire body needed to be seen, such as when ALF was running across the house. At all other times, ALF was a puppet, and was performed and voiced by series creator, Paul Fusco.

Paul Fusco with his most famous creation, ALF

4)  X-MEN'S "BEAST" = Kelsey Grammer:  Yes, that Kelsey Grammer of Cheers and Frasier fame! I've seen this movie several times and never realized it was him! Completely unrecognizable!

Grammer as "Beast"
Grammer as himself

5)  GRIPHOOK = Warwick Davis:  This grisly goblin from the Harry Potter movies is played by famous dwarf actor Warwick Davis. Famous? Yes, he is. Davis was the lead actor in the 1980s fantasy classic Willow and the title character in the Leprechaun series of horror movies. Davis was "Wicket" the Ewok in Return Of The Jedi, "Nikabrik The Dwarf" in The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian, as well as playing "Professor Flitwick" in the Harry Potter movies.

Warwick Davis as "Griphook"

Davis out of makeup

6)  C3PO = Anthony Daniels:  English-born Daniels was never a fan of science fiction. Then he got a part in what would turn out to be one of the most iconic science fiction film series of all time: Star Wars. Go figure!

Daniels, posing with the suit that made him a star

7)  R2D2 = Kenny Baker:  This 3' 8" English actor starred in all six Star Wars films as the memorable robot, R2D2. In addition to his acting career, Baker has also been a stand-up comic and harmonica player in a dance band. Who'd a thunk it?

R2D2 (left) and the guy inside him, Kenny Baker

8)  HARRY (from Harry And The Hendersons) = Kevin Peter Hall:  This famous Bigfoot character was played by 7' 2" tall actor Kevin Peter Hall. Hall also found success as an actor playing another famous movie character: the title character in the first two Predator films. Sadly, Hall died in 1991 at the age of 35 of pneumonia, a complication of the HIV virus which he contracted as a result of a blood transfusion.

Harry the sasquatch (left) and his portrayer, Kevin Peter Hall

Hall as "Predator"

9)  BARNEY = David Joyner:  There were a few different actors who donned the puffy suit as that lovable (or deplorable -- depending on how you view him) purple dinosaur, Barney, but Joyner was the first. But Joyner was not the voice of Barney. That would be Bob West, also pictured below.

David Joyner (left) and his alter-ego, Barney

Bob West, the voice of Barney. He loves you, you love him, you're all a happy family...

10)  THE COWARDLY LION, THE SCARECROW, AND THE TIN MAN (from The Wizard Of Oz) = Bert Lahr, Ray Bolger, and Jack Haley:  Fans of this movie (myself included) are so used to seeing their favorite characters looking like they did in the movie that they may forget that they didn't actually look like that. This is how they really looked, without all that garish makeup.

Bert Lahr aka "The Cowardly Lion"

Ray Bolger aka "The Scarecrow"

Jack Haley aka "The Tin Man"

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