Warwick Davis

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Warwick Ashley Davis (born 3 February 1970) is an English actor. Davis is known for playing the title characters in Willow and the Leprechaun series of films; other prominent roles include Wicket W. Warrick in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Professor Filius Flitwick and Griphook in the Harry Potter movies, the body of Marvin the Paranoid Android in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as well as Nikabrik in the Walden Media version of Prince Caspian and Reepicheep in the BBC television versions of Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Mr Glimfeather the owl in The Silver Chair. Davis will have his own sit-com directed by Ricky Gervais: Life's Too Short. Davis has a condition resulting in dwarfism, and stands at Template:Height tall.[1]

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[edit] Early life

Davis was born in Surrey, England to an insurance broker and his wife. Davis also has a younger sister. He was educated at the City of London Freemen's School. When Davis was 11, his grandmother heard a radio advert calling for people who were 4 ft. tall or shorter to be in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. To Davis, who was a fan of the Star Wars movies, it was a dream come true.

On the set of Jedi, Mark Hamill bought Davis every single Star Wars figure he did not have.[2]

[edit] Career

He was originally cast as an extra Ewok, but when Kenny Baker, who was originally going to be Wicket, fell ill, George Lucas picked Warwick to be the new Wicket after seeing how he carried himself as an Ewok. Davis based his Ewok movements on his dog, who would tilt his head from side to side whenever he saw something strange. During production on the film, Davis made a "short" mockumentary film about his experience as Wicket, titled Return of the Ewok, made with help from Return of the Jedi's first assistant director, David Tomblin. The unreleased film was a fictional look at his decision to become an actor and act in the movie and his transformation into Wicket the Ewok. Davis reprised his role in the ABC made-for-TV movies Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor.

In 1987, Davis was called to Elstree Studios in London to meet with Ron Howard and George Lucas to discuss a new movie project called Willow, which was written with Davis specifically in mind. Willow was his first opportunity to act with his face visible. He co-starred with Val Kilmer in the film, which received a Royal Premiere before the Prince and Princess of Wales. He then moved to television to be in the BBC television adaptation of the classic The Chronicles of Narnia, specifically in Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (as Reepicheep), and The Silver Chair (as Glimfeather) and an episode of Zorro filmed in Madrid.

In 1993, he played the villainous Irish goblin in Leprechaun. He then returned to the Star Wars universe, playing three roles in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace: Weazel, a gambler sitting next to Watto at the Podrace; Wald, who was Anakin's Rodian buddy; and Yoda in scenes where Yoda was walking.

Davis played the role of Professor Filius Flitwick in the Harry Potter films. Davis played a white-mustached Flitwick in the first two movies, and then a black-haired unnamed chorus conductor (presumably Flitwick but not credited as such) for the third installment of the series. In the fourth movie, Flitwick is younger looking, with short, brown hair and a trimmed mustache. In addition to playing Flitwick, Davis played the role of the goblin Griphook in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, despite the role being played previously by fellow dwarf actor Verne Troyer. (Note that Davis's name is misspelled in the closing credits of Hallows Part One as "Davies".)

In 2004, Davis played the character "Plates," in indie film, "Skinned Deep," directed by Special Effects artist Gabriel Bartalos.[3]

In 2006, Davis appeared, alongside fellow Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, in an episode of BBC's comedy series Extras as a satirical version of himself.

Davis starred in the film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as the "body" of Marvin the Paranoid Android (the voice was provided by Alan Rickman). In December 2006, Davis starred in the pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at Manchester Opera House, and again in 2007/8 at the New Wimbledon Theatre.

Davis appeared in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, in which he played Nikabrik the Dwarf, adding to his previous involvement in TV adaptations of the Chronicles of Narnia series. He also appeared as a contestant on the 2007 series of Children in Need reality show Celebrity Scissorhands.

[edit] Other

In addition to his acting career, Davis is the co-founder, with fellow dwarf actor Peter Burroughs, of a talent agency (Willow Management, founded in 1995) that specialises in representing actors under five feet tall. As of 2004, his agency also began representing actors over seven feet tall who had also suffered from being confined to "niche" roles.

In April 2010 Davis published his autobiography, Size Matters Not: The Extraordinary Life and Career of Warwick Davis, with a foreword by George Lucas.[4]

Davis will star as himself in an upcoming show titled Life's Too Short, written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who will star as well.[5]

[edit] Personal life

Unlike most dwarfs (70%) who have a condition called achondroplasia, Davis' dwarfism is caused by an extremely rare genetic condition called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SED). He has said the only real drawback to being small was the associated health problems. Of his own dwarfism, Davis has said "As you get older, you can suffer from painful hips, and our joints wear a lot quicker than for people of average height".

Davis's family includes a wife and two children, who live in Yaxley near Peterborough. His wife, Samantha (b. 1971) has achondroplasia, as do his children Annabel (b. 1997) and Harrison (b. 2003). Samantha is the daughter of his business partner Peter Burroughs, and the sister of actress Hayley Burroughs.

[edit] Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1982 Return of the Ewok (unreleased film)
1983 Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Wicket W. Warrick
1984 Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
1985 Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
1986 Labyrinth Goblin Corps
The Princess and the Dwarf
1987 Conor Finans Adventures in Naas
1988 Willow Willow Ufgood
1989 Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader Reepicheep BBC TV serial
1990 The Silver Chair Glimfeather
1991 Zorro One episode: The Jewelled Sword Don Alfonso US. TV series filmed in Spain
1993 Leprechaun Leprechaun
1994 Leprechaun 2
1995 Leprechaun 3
1996 Gulliver's Travels Grildrig television miniseries
Leprechaun 4: In Space Leprechaun
1997 Prince Valiant Pechet
1998 A Very Unlucky Leprechaun Lucky
1999 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Yoda (live action suit)
The New Adventures of Pinocchio dwarf
The White Pony Edgar Rod
2000 The 10th Kingdom Acorn the Dwarf television miniseries
Leprechaun: In the Hood Leprechaun
2001 Snow White Saturday
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) Professor Flitwick / Goblin Bank Teller
2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Professor Flitwick
2003 Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood Leprechaun
2004 Ray Oberon
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Professor Flitwick
Skinned Deep Plates
2005 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy body of Marvin the Paranoid Android
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Professor Flitwick
Small Town Folk Knackerman
Extras himself
2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Professor Flitwick
2008 Agent One-Half Agent One-Half
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Nikabrik
Invasion of the Not Quite Dead
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Professor Flitwick
Tell Him Next Year Santa's Elf
2010 Merlin[6] Grettir Series 3, Episode 8: "The Eye of the Phoenix"
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Griphook[7] (Closing credits name him Warwick Davies)
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Griphook/Professor Flitwick[8] Final filming of the Harry Potter film series was held on Saturday 12 June 2010.
Life's Too Short Himself Lead role

[edit] References

  1. http://www.mcmbuzz.com/2011/07/29/warwick-davis-talks-exclusively-to-mcmbuzz/
  2. http://www.mcmbuzz.com/2011/07/29/warwick-davis-talks-exclusively-to-mcmbuzz/
  3. Skinned Deep at the Internet Movie Database
  4. Davis, Warwick; Lucas, George (22 April 2010). Size Matters Not: The Extraordinary Life and Career of Warwick Davis. Aurum Press. pp. 352. ISBN 978-1845135317. 
  5. 'Life's Too Short' BBC Pilot, Warwickdavis.co.uk, 22 April 2010
  6. Spoiler alert! Scenes from the last instalment of Harry Potter and a heartbreaking farewell to a faithful friend
  7. Spoiler alert! Scenes from the last instalment of Harry Potter and a heartbreaking farewell to a faithful friend

[edit] External links