RIP Sammy Ross, Dwarf Entertainer (1923-2010)

The Entertainer

By Alan H. Feiler (The Jewish Times, 12/24/2010)

As a youngster, Leah Schwartz remembers going to family gatherings where her uncle, Sammy Ross, would always come up and joke around, doing anything just to make her smile.

“He’d say, ‘Yeah, I’m your short uncle, and here’s a magic trick. Here you go,’” she recalled. “He was a great uncle, always smiling and laughing and singing and entertaining us with his harmonica or accordion and magic tricks. He was just a fun guy, and he used his stature as a positive. He was inspirational — always happy with his lot and viewing life in a happy, positive mode. And he became famous.”

Mr. Ross died Dec. 11 from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease. He was 87 and lived for several years at Courtland Gardens Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Pikesville.

Born Samuel Resnicoff and raised as one of three sons to grocery store-operating parents in East Baltimore, Mr. Ross — who stood approximately 4 feet tall and weighed 100 pounds — was a veteran entertainer who performed in vaudeville and appeared in several films, including “Top Man” (1943) with Donald O’Connor and Lillian Gish, “The War Lord” (1965) with Charlton Heston and Richard Boone, and “Trading Mom” (1994) with Sissy Spacek and Maureen Stapleton. In the 1998 TV movie, “Willa: An American Snow White,” he portrayed Billy Bugg, a dancing dwarf.

Continue reading “The Entertainer” at The Jewish Times.

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