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Yesterday, August 12, 2000
Ya know... I sure hate having to share sad news like this with y'all, but... ya know... sometimes being a film geek means sharing the hard times with your brothers as well as the good.

On with the bad news...

One of my absolute favorite people in the world of motion pictures has passed on and I can't let him go without writing a few words of tribute.

Jay "Muggy" Troyer, diminutive star of the screen for several decades...

is dead. I'm sure you've already heard the news stories about how he was crushed to death, at age 87, by an accordian left carelessly teetering on the edge of his dresser by his nursing home roommate, so I won't get into that. But with all the cold news we've heard about this tragedy, we have yet to hear about the incident from the point of view of... a fan.

"Muggy" Troyer may have only stood 22 inches high, but he was a giant of the silver screen.

"Muggy" may have never had a starring role in a film, or an important supporting role... but sometimes it's the little people who are the most important (no slur meant there toward the deceased's tiny, tiny stature).

Who can help but smile when they remember the moment in Hitchcock's "The Red Ink Letter" when "Muggy" brought Cary Grant a cup of tea in his train compartment and warned "careful, it's a little hot." A little hot indeed.

It was in "Space Passage Savage" that Troyer first caught the eye of this bloated film buff. Remember the scene when Starmeister Clox vowed to Savage that... "I will always be the master of the passage... The lives of these people are mine!" and then he threw one of the small Chaq'uidians into the molten lava. Yup... you guessed it... that little fellow plummeting to his death was our "Muggy"!!!

Ironic how now... years later... he would die in real life.

He went on to appear in several other films: Nero Takes A Bath, Sidesteppin', Three Through The West, Short Folks Galore!, and Space Passage Savage III (despite having been killed in part I - oops!). Though he was always only on screen for just a few seconds, rarely spoke, and was usually mostly obscured by larger actors or large plastic masks, he will always have a special place in my strained, Twinkee-clogged heart.

What was it about Jay "Muggy" Troyer that touched his fans so... Was it the twinkle in his eye? The dimple on his chin? The way his knees were always turned slightly inward? I don't know... All I do know is... Hollywood has lost another of its best and brightest.

Godspeed, little giant... Godspeed.

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