August 18, 2005 by

Matthew McGrory


Categories: Actors, Extraordinary People, Hollywood

mmcgrory2.jpgMatthew McGrory, an actor who starred in nearly a dozen Hollywood pictures, died on Aug. 9. He was 32.

A native of West Chester, Pa., McGrory weighed 15 pounds and was 24 inches long at his birth. By the time he reached the first grade, he was over 5 feet tall. From that point on, all of his clothes and shoes had to be handmade at great expense to accommodate his growing dimensions.

McGrory played the drums and attended law school at Widener University, then broke into show business on Howard Stern’s radio show in the 1990s. His deep voice was a hit with listeners — and with people in the industry who hired him to appear in music videos for Iron Maiden and Marilyn Manson.

Acting offers followed as well. McGrory played a human Sasquatch in “Bubble Boy,” Tiny Firefly in “House of 1000 Corpses” and its sequel “The Devil’s Rejects,” an alien in “Men in Black II” and Karl the Giant in the box office hit “Big Fish.” He also did guest appearances on the TV shows “The Pretender,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Charmed.”

McGrory was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the world’s largest feet (size 29 1/2) and for being the world’s tallest actor (7 feet, 6 inches). At the time of his death, he was working on a biopic of wrestler-turned-actor Andre the Giant.

“Like Andre, sometimes he just wanted to be able to walk around and be a regular guy and not have people ask him how tall he is or how much he weighs. He wanted to ride in a sports car, and he loved making movies, but it made him sad that he couldn’t even go to theaters to watch them because he was too big for the seats,” director Drew Sky said.

48 Responses to Matthew McGrory

  1. adam pantell

    Last night I watched big fish for the 1st time. Matthew McGrory was in it i guess, it looked like him. He seemed like a cool dude. My daghter alexandria and I thought he was not a real person. The next day he is dead.

  2. Sara

    I’ve seen him over the past years. he was a real good actor. sad he died. i saw him playing in a marilyn manson video and in charmed, and also in devils rejects. i dont know much about him but he seemed like a cool guy.

  3. Alex Siliato

    Matthew Mcgrory was a man who didn’t take life for granted like most of us may from time to time, instead he made the best of everyday and sought after opportunities to be the best he could be. He will be greatly missed. He is an inspiration to those who think it’s impossible to make it in life as someone who is different on the outside. He was a great actor as well as human being. Rest in Peace Matthew Mcgrory.

  4. Suzanne

    It was with great sadness that I read of the death of Matthew McGrory. His performance in “Big Fish” was outstanding, helping to make the movie the wonderfully entertaining and mythical tale it was. He was a man apart, learning to live and succeed with what most of us would consider a ‘handicap’ and turn it into something positiive. I will remember him with fondness. Suzanne, Australia

  5. Sara

    Matthew McGrory was a talented man.
    He was brilliant in the movie “Big Fish.
    I just hope he lived his life to the fullest.
    Rest in peace Matthew.

  6. Darren Beach

    I lived 2 houses up from Matthew McGrory Mother and step-father. I lived in Coatesville PA, (Wellington Hunt). I saw Matt one winter getting out of the limo at his moms house and that was really the only time I ever saw him there. When his Mom and step-father were moving they had a yard sale and I went over there and they showed me one of his shoes. MAN WAS IT BIG. Well im going to miss seeing him in movies and on H. Stern. He always seemed like a cool dude.

  7. Lauren

    i didn’t know Matt, but i wished i had. he was one of my fave actors, and his death has really affected me. last night i read a tribute to him, from one of his friends. i cried. i don’t know exactly why this is affecting me like it is, but it bothers me so bad to know that he’s gone. i put a link on my profile leading to the tribute, in hopes that others might feel the same way. i just know that he will be missed and loved.

  8. nikita

    I really think Matthew McGrory was a great actor. He inspired me to open my eyes to the inner sight of people. I loved him in The House of 1000 Corpses, Devil’s Rejects, Big Fish and in Charmed. I didn’t know he’d passed until I seen “In Memory of Matthew McGrory” at the end of Devil’s Rejects. He will live on in our memories. You will be greatly missed Matthew. We miss you.
    Always love.

  9. Michael

    I remember seeing matt in his first movie “The Dead Hate the Living” and the director commenting about how he recieved a head shot of matt standing next to a phone booth, it always stood out in my mind. Then later I started noticing him in other TV shows and movies. He never really stood out cause of his size but his demeanor, its easy to fake someones size in a movie. He always seemed to have this very cool and easy going personality in everything, whether he played serial killer, carnival sideshow, or misunderstood giant. I imagine it was carried over from his personal life. I didn’t know of his death until I got the DVD of the Devils Rejects, it bothered me a bit that I would never see him in anything else or ever actually meet him myself.

  10. Mal

    I saw Matt for he first time today when I saw Big Fish, which I had been awaiting an opportunity to watch for months. I was so intrigued by his performance that I really wanted to find out more about this wonderful actor. As a result I have discovered not just how popular he was, but also that he had died.
    To find out tonight that he is no longer with us left has left me quite saddened. I would have loved to have known more about him.

  11. Ale

    Well the first time that I saw Matt was in the records and i was surprised about his feet.
    I saw him in a lot of movies later on but tonight i entered the Worlds records and i read that he died. It was a shock because he was very young…
    I only hope that he enjoyed his life.

  12. sar

    i would just like to say that i hope he may rest in pease. what a wonderful and inspiring person to have lived… i wish i could have met him. however i am glad that he lived his life his way and never seemed to let anything hold him back. kind wishes to all that knew him

  13. ashley grisham

    im really sad that he died he was so kool in devils reject, and house thousand corps, i never seen big fish but now i think i will watch it now cuz i never knew he played in it until i looked on google about him being dead, so yea i thought he was good in bubble boy even though i didnt know it was him until today when the say it was him. Let him rest in peace and enjoy heaven, and let him sleep tight.

  14. Angela

    I would just like to thank Mr. McGrory for his characters in the rob zombie movies and big fish. He did a terrific job. It is a shame that his fans didn’t have the chance to see him shine in the andre the giant movie. I give my condolences to his family and friends. 32 years old is too young to lose such a remarkable person.

  15. Jeremy

    I liked Matthew McGrory because he seemed like a loving indivigual(or how ever you spell it)i always thought of him as a hero and i just got done watching The Devil’s Rejects and when the credits were roling up before i turned it off i saw his name under In loving Memory then i was like yea right lol.Then i hurryed to my labtop and looked it up and now i am so damn mad and sad but now i know he is in Heaven where he is free to walk or fly around and not cair what people think cause he is now happy.
    And if he could hear me i would want to tell him that i hope he is happy and i miss him and movies will not be the same again and that i hopfully see you on the other side.

  16. Katherine

    I always like Matthew McGrory, and I had even told myself that I’d meet him one day. I guess it never occurred to me that he would die not long after I grew such fascination for the guy. That makes me sad, big time. I hosted a little tribute to him on my Myspace page, and I sure do miss him.

  17. Daniel

    Very strange it is. I don’t “follow” actors and don’t find most interesting enough to bother even remembering their names. When I saw Big Fish, I was drawn to this man. There was something so genuine in this performance, something missing from those of his contemporaries. I guess acting is supposed to be false, the art of pretending to be someone or someting that one is not. But in my opinion, the greatest moments come when an actor is actually “being”, beyond simply “acting” They say the best liers always weave their lies with some truth, which is what makes them so effective. I think also that the best actors do something of the same. They weave their performance with truth, the truth of their lives and experience. If this is so, Matthew’s truth certainly seemed to be a humble one. An experience of truly being an outsider, in every sense of the word. And to have so elequently shared that reality through his performances, through his work. Something we could all stand to do more of. Now he’s gone back home to the magical universe where everything and everyone fits perfectly; leaving a planet where most do not.

  18. nicole

    i seen matthew in lots of movies just about all the ones listed above. he was a very talented actor and will always be rememberd. <3RIP matthew youll be missed<3

  19. Ingmar Neufeldt

    It is a tragedy that the world and the movie business has lost such an inspiring and multifarious actor than Matthew McGrory. I was only able to enjoy his great performance in “house of 1000 corpses”, “the devils rejects” and “the big fish”. He played the saddest giant and the creepiest human I have ever seen.
    I hope that’ll always be remembered !!!

  20. jess

    I have recently seen both horror movies House of 1000 corpses and The devil’s rejects. Matthew Mcgrory was an extremly great person…he loved his life and the things he did…He was a gifted actor and i wish he would be around to recieve an oscar because the world knows he deserves it. He was the most friendly person in the universe. He will be greatly missed by all….
    Much love, Rest In Peace matty xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxox ur biggest New Zealand Fan in tha world

  21. Mike

    I just watched Big Fish for the first time and it brought a tear to my eye. But I was excited to learn more about the actor who played Karl and find out about his next projrcts. My excitment turn to saddness upon learning of the loss of such a great contributor to the screen arts. I have spent the last hour reading all the websites and tributes about Matt. Me heart goes out to his family and friends in losing a man who was big in charactre as he was in stature.

  22. Darren

    You would know the secret of death.
    But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
    The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
    If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
    For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
    In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
    And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
    Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
    Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
    Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
    Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
    For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
    And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
    Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
    And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
    And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

  23. Meagz

    RIP matthew. U will be sadly missed and you are are a great actor especially in that of the rob zombie movies. And the marilyn manson film clip that you are in is one of my favourites xx

  24. alexandria


  25. mercy

    yeah i just watched big fish i looked at him and said hey he looks like tiny on hous of a 1000 corps man he would go far it blows that he died man

  26. Ellen Wilds

    I only became aware of Matthew McGrory while watching “Big Fish” and checking the cast list on IMDB. I was so sad to learn he was dead at such a young age, but I understand that the earth’s giants rarely die of old age. Tragically, agromegally extends the long bones, but not the internal organs. The heart takes on a terrible load pumping blood over the great distance from foot to head. In the end it gives out.
    The very tall and the very small are not freaks to be stared at. They are unique people who all too often are forced to live at the edge of what we call “normal.”
    Matthew McGrory shone briefly in the sunlight and then he was gone. Remember him with love.

  27. Ana

    I just finished watching The Devil’s Rejects and was shocked at the end when it said in Memory.
    He’s greatly missed, a wonderful actor and a wonderful person. God Bless.

  28. jfew

    I looked him up only today. I saw him in a guiness book i’m sure I spelled it wrong. Anyway i googled him and watched a youtube vid. He did rock his life on. I have seen a few of his movies and will be looking for him as i watch his other movies. Keep the commints coming because they have stopped over a year ago.Don’t let this mans name go in vain he has done a lot and is now gone and should be rememberd…..

  29. Sharon Komforty

    I first saw Matthew McGrory in the movie, Big Fish and loved him. He was so great in that movie! I wanted to learn more about him and read some information that he died. I was real sad! He was a wonderful actor and he seemed like such a nice person too. He will be greatly missed. May you rest in Peace, Matthew!
    From, Sharon.

  30. Sarah McGrory Sweet

    my name is Sarah McGrory Sweet . I am Mattys little cousin reading over this tribute means a lot. Exspecially years after his passing. my heart is with all of you.

  31. Christi (Central NY)

    I was so sad when I heard that Matt died. I feel that he was misunderstood a lot and not taken seriously as an actor and if you ask anyone he worked with, Mr Spellman on Charmed, Rob Zombie ad Sherry Moon Zombie whom he worked with on both the House of a thousand corpses and The Devils rejects, they will tell you that Matt was a great actor and could have had much better parts but was cast into parts that displayed him as an orge and/or a enchanted Character, He showed his colors in Big Fish and I wish he had the opprtuinity to show hollywood what a great actor he really was.
    Matt was a gentle man and some called him a giant. But his heart was as big as he was and may his soul rest in peace. Thanks for doing this tribute to him. The world lost a great man, way too soon. Goodbye Matt, Hope to see you on the other side.

  32. Antoinette

    I had never heard of Matthew McGrory untill I watched The Devils Rejects yesterday, not realizing House of a 1000 Corpses was the first one…lol. After seeing the In Memory of Matthew I decided to look up the cast. I love to study actors and was curious to see what Matthew in particular looked like underneath the make up. He was so handsome. I am 6 ft tall and love TALL men. He will know no pain and witness no ignorant stares in heaven. My heart goes out to his girlfriend and family. My husband committed suicide 3 years ago, I know that pain. RIP Matthew! Antoinette, Australia.

  33. Andrea

    I couldnt believe when I heard!! He was one of my favourite actors!! I loved him so much!! When I watched “Big fish” I cried!! He was to young to die!!! The world isnt feare! The ones who desearves to live and are good inside allways die young!!(I dont know english well so I apologise if I spelled some words wrong)God needed his angel so he called Matthews name <3!! Rest in peace Matthew McGrory!! I love you!!

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