Gary Friedkin – who played an Ewok in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – has died at the age of 70 of complications from COVID-19, according to an online obituary.
The actor passed away peacefully in a hospice on December 2 after enduring a “severe” three and a half weeks in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Youngstown, Ohio, according to the Tribune Chronicle.
Born on November 23, 1952 in Youngstown, Friedkin will be remembered as “a gift to all who knew him.”
Friedkin trained as a pianist at Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music, where he reportedly graduated with a music degree. He moved to Los Angeles and made his Hollywood debut there the Chevy Chase comedy Under the Rainbow in 1981, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The 4-foot-tall actor, nicknamed “Kishka,” is said to have been an active member of the Little People of America.
He appeared in the blockbuster Blade Runner and in episodes of The Twilight Zone, The Practice and Chicago Hope. In “Happy Days” he played Clarence, a chef at Arnold’s restaurant.
Friedkin was last seen as Shorty in Garry Marshall’s 2016 film Mother’s Day.
“[Gary was] an amazing son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, great-uncle and friend,” the obituary reads. “Gary lived his life to the fullest, bringing endless laughter to his family and many friends without getting in the way of the obstacles he faced.”
The tribute continued, “Though Gary might have been small, he was a giant among his family and friends. His legacy will live on as stories are told and retold for years to come by all who loved him.”
The obituary ended with a promise to celebrate Friedkin’s life in the spring and a request that “everyone get vaccinated and empowered to protect their families and communities.”
https://nypost.com/2022/12/09/happy-days-and-star-wars-actor-gary-friedkin-dead-of-covid-19-at-70/ ‘Happy Days’ and ‘Star Wars’ actor Gary Friedkin has died of COVID-19 at the age of 70