Michu Meszaros, a Hungarian circus performer who measured 33 inches in height and portrayed the wise-cracking title-character alien in about a dozen episodes of NBC's comedy "ALF," died Monday at age 76.
Meszaros' manager, Dennis Varga, told The Hollywood Reporter that Meszaros died at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance.
Meszaros had been hospitalized earlier after being found unresponsive in the Hawthorne home he shared with Varga's family.
The character of ALF in the 1980s sitcom was primarily a puppet operated by Paul Fusco. Meszaros appeared as the alien character in scenes that involved full-body shots of ALF or featured him walking.
Meszaros, who was dubbed the "smallest man on Earth" and was a good friend of Michael Jackson, began performing in the circus as a teenager and eventually joined Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus.
He portrayed a circus dwarf in the 1988 film "Big Top Pee-Wee'" and showed up in films including "Warlock: The Armageddon" and "Freaked."