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Actor: Herve Villechaize
Character: Nick Nack
Movie: The Man With The Golden Gun
Date of Birth: 23rd April 1943
Height: 3' 11" (1.19 m)
Appearance: Very short with a large, dark crop of hair. Often seen wearing impeccable suits to match the quality and style of his employer.
Distinguishing Feature: His small stature.
Organisations & Alliances: Scaramanga
"You big bully..."
The slight but devious employee of Scaramanga, Nick Nack is the Man With The Golden Gun's private servant, waiter and training assistant. He engineers Scaramanga's creative fun-house, always taunting his master into sharpening his skills with new and unexpected dangers in his island-based training facility.
Nick Nack is man of few words but an able gofer for Scaramanga. Despite his unusual proportions Nick Nack blends ably into a crowd and no attention is given to him as he performs both important and menial tasks. He is polite mannered, well spoken with a good sense of humour. He uses his size and impeccable appearance to deceive his victims and attack them when they least expect it. He is extremely loyal to Scaramanga, acting on his every whim and often out of his own volition, often putting himself in the firing line for his boss, despite being sole beneficiary to his master's estate.
James Bond runs into the henchman when the British solar expert is assassinated outside the Bottoms Up club in Hong Kong. Little does Bond know that the strange, quiet man is working for Scaramanga. The small assassin orchestrates Bond's capture at Hai Fat's palace and his would-be death at the hand of the martial arts masters.
Nick Nack is always close by when Scaramanga confronts Bond and assists in the capture of Mary Goodnight at the Thai kickboxing stadium. In the confrontation between Bond and the gunman on Scaramanga's island, Nick Nack operates the fun-house gadgets in order to help his boss outwit 007. But, in that department Nick Nack fails.
In his final confrontation with Bond, Nick Nack turns into somewhat of a comic relief character, attacking 007 and Goodnight aboard Scaramanga's Junk which the lovers had requisitioned. Nick Nack is incarcerated, first in a suitcase, and then in the lookout nest before Bond turns the wanted man over to the authorities.
"I wonder where you can find your gun, Monsieur Scaramanga. Your little golden gun."
Born in Paris, France in 1943, Herve Villechaize exhibited the first case of short-limbed dwarfism known to recorded science. He stood a meager 3' 11" fully grown but his torso and head are more of regular proportions. He was raised by his English mother and French stepfather in Paris until after school he pursued formal training to be a painter at Beaux-Arts College. At the age of 18 he became the youngest artist to ever have his work displayed in the prestigious Museum of Paris.
In 1964 he headed to the Americas in order to find work, quickly finding himself living in a bohemian part of New York and struggling as an artist and photographer. Villechaize won a few parts in off Broadway shows but his big on-screen break came in 1972, when he was cast in "Greaser's Palace", a Robert Downey Sr. production. He won a lead role in "Malatesta's Carnival of Blood", a quirky horror. However, poor pay and irregular work meant that he was living in relative poverty when Albert R. Broccoli attempted to make contact with him to cast him as the henchman in Roger Moore's '74 outing "The Man With The Golden Gun". This film flung Herve into stardom as the memorable if comic Nick Nack and on the back of this, Villechaize won a recurring role in 1977 TV movies (and later TV series) "Fantasy Island".
Villechaize played "Tatoo" - the quirky assistant to Mr. Roarke, the Island's convener. On of this gig, and the James Bond adventure, Herve had a new-found fame and wealth. He became known as a severe womaniser (but managed to maintain a long term relationship with girlfriend Kathy Self) and towards the end of shooting the '80s television series of the same name, demanded more and more pay for his role.
He was later fired from the show, but not after serving in over 100 episodes. After this episode Villechaize appeared in only two more films, low-rated Whoopi Goldberg comedy "The Telephone" and the forgettable "Two Moon Junction", both released in 1988. He made a few commercials in the early 1990s, including a memorable short for Dunkin Donuts.
Towards the end of his life he focused on his art, but grew moody. Villechaize suffered from depression and alcoholism as well as well as various afflictions due to his dwarfism. He eventually took his own life in his Hollywood home on 4th September 1993. He was found, still alive by Kathy Self and rushed to hospital. He had left behind a dictaphone note for his long-time partner: "Kathy, I can't live like this anymore. I've always been a proud man and always wanted to make you proud of me. You know you made me feel like a giant and that's how I want you to remember me." He passed away the same day.