Joshua Ryan Evans
Despite standing a diminutive 37 inches, television and film actor Joshua Ryan Evans reached for the stars early in life. Finding fame and success as the doll-turned-human character Timmy on the fantasy soap opera Passions and living his motto of "It's not the size of the dreamer, but the size of the dream" until his dream of being an actor finally became a reality, Evans' scene-stealing turn in Passions won him two consecutive Daytime Emmy Awards in addition to an Emmy nomination. Born with a rare form of dwarfism called achondroplasia in Hayward, CA, in January 1982, young Evans faced surgery often and spent much of his recovery escaping into the fantasy world of television and film. Making his television debut in a Dreyer's Ice Cream commercial at the age of 12, Ryan decided to use his size to his advantage and won a Cleo Award for his role in the "Dancing Baby" commercial. Reasoning that no one would remember him if he were a normal-sized actor, Ryan subsequently made his feature debut in the film Baby Geniuses (1999) before making a memorable appearance as Ally McBeal's pint-sized nemesis in the 1998 season of the series. His debut in Passions the next year found Evans rising to cult status on the small screen; a role in the made-for-television P.T. Barnum followed. Evans made an appearance as the young Grinch in director Ron Howard's Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In an odd twist of fate, Evans' death in early August 2002 directly corresponded with his memorable character's death in Passions, marking the end of a brief but memorable career. He was 20.