Warwick Davis

Warwick Davis

Birth name: Warwick Ashley Davis
Born: February 3, 1970
Age: 48
Birthplace: Epsom, Surrey, England
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Biography

Warwick Ashley Davis (born 3 February 1970) is an English actor, television presenter, writer, director and producer He played the title characters in Willow and the Leprechaun film series, the Ewok Wicket in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Professor Filius Flitwick and Griphook in the Harry Potter films. Davis also starred as a fictionalised version of himself in the sitcom Life's Too Short, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

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Early life

Davis was born in Epsom, Surrey, the son of Susan J. (Pain) and Ashley Davis, an insurance worker. Davis has a younger sister. He was educated at Chinthurst School and later the City of London Freemen's School. Davis was born with Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita, an extremely rare form of dwarfism. When Davis was 11, his grandmother heard a radio advert calling for people who were 4 feet (1.2 m) tall or shorter to be in Return of the Jedi. To Davis, who was a fan of the Star Wars films, it was a dream come true. During the filming of Return of the Jedi, Mark Hamill bought Davis every Star Wars figure he did not have.

Career

Davis was originally cast as an extra Ewok, but when Kenny Baker, who was originally going to be Wicket, fell ill, George Lucas picked Davis 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 was the subject of a short mockumentary film about his experience as Wicket, titled Return of the Ewok, made by 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 film and his transformation into Wicket the Ewok. Davis reprised his role as Wicket in the ABC made-for-TV films 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 film 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, alongside Jennifer Aniston. 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 some scenes where Yoda was seen walking.

Davis played the role of Professor Filius Flitwick in the Harry Potter films. Davis played a white-moustached Flitwick in the first two films, and then a black-haired unnamed chorus conductor for the third instalment of the series. In the fourth film, Flitwick is younger looking, with short, brown hair and a trimmed moustache. 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.

In 2004, Davis played the character "Plates" in the indie film Skinned Deep, directed by special effects artist Gabriel Bartalos. 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 the Opera House, Manchester, and again in 2007-08 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. Davis starred as a fictional version of himself in Life's Too Short, written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who also starred. In December 2012, Davis returned to New Wimbledon Theatre to reprise his role in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

In March 2013, Davis presented an episode of the ITV series Perspectives: Warwick Davis - The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz, in which he explored the story of the Ovitz family, a touring musical troupe which included seven dwarfs who survived the Nazi Auschwitz concentration camp and the experiments of Josef Mengele.

In late 2013, Davis appeared for one month as Patsy in the musical comedy Spamalot, based on the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail in London, At the same time, Davis hosted a press conference to announce the Monty Python reunion.

In 2014, Davis hosted a factual series for ITV called Weekend Escapes with Warwick Davis. The show saw Davis and his family travelling around Britain, enjoying short weekend holiday breaks. The show returned for a second series in spring 2015. From 2014 to 2015, Davis hosted the revived version of game show Celebrity Squares on ITV. The first series was shown in 2014 and a second aired in 2015.

Davis appeared in the 2015 sequel Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In July 2015, Davis became the voice of Gordon the Gopher in a pilot developed for BBC Taster, and the pilot progressed well, becoming one of the highest rated on the BBC's Taster section.

In November 2016, Davis began presenting the daytime ITV game show Tenable.

Other

In addition to his acting career, in 1995, Davis co-founded, with fellow dwarf actor and father-in-law Peter Burroughs, the talent agency Willow Management, that specialises in representing actors under five feet (1.52 m) tall. Many of Davis's co-stars and fellow dwarf actors from Star Wars, Willow, Labyrinth and the Harry Potter series are represented by the agency. In 2004, the agency also began representing actors over seven feet (2.13 m) tall who had also suffered from being confined to "niche" roles. Over forty members of Willow Management were cast as goblins in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2.

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

In January 2013, he appeared in a Comic Relief episode of The Great British Bake Off, winning that episode's title of "Comic Relief Star Baker".

Davis is a founder of the Reduced Height Theatre Company, which stages theatrical productions cast exclusively with short actors and using reduced height sets. Their first production was See How They Run, touring the UK in 2014. In February 2015 the production was the subject of the BBC's "Warwick Davis' Big Night" as part of the Modern Times documentary series.

In June 2016, he appeared on the long-running BBC Radio Four programme Desert Island Discs.

The BBC broadcast one of its Who Do You Think You Are? genealogy programmes on Warwick Davis in February 2017. In the episode Davis learned that in his family tree he had an ancestor that had been married to two women at the same time, another who had died in an asylum from syphilis and another who had blacked up as a minstrel. Davis was quoted in the programme as saying he had a great deal of respect for all the people in the stories that had been uncovered.

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 wife, Samantha, has achondroplasia and their two children also have SED. Their daughter Annabelle Davis stars in the CBBC show, The Dumping Ground as Sasha Bellman. As a result of having different causes of dwarfism, the couple's first two children, sons Lloyd and George, died shortly after birth, having had a fatal combination of the conditions. Samantha is the daughter of his business partner Peter Burroughs, and the sister of actress Hayley Burroughs. Davis met the Burroughs family while filming Willow, where she had a minor role as a Nelwyn villager.

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1982 Return of the Ewok Himself; Wicket W. Warrick Unreleased
1983 Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Wicket W. Warrick
1984 Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure Main Role
1985 Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
1986 Labyrinth Goblin Corps
The Princess and the Dwarf
1988 Willow Willow Ufgood
1988 Prince Caspian Reepicheep
1990 The Silver Chair Glimfeather
1991 Zorro Don Alfonso Episode: "The Jewelled Sword"
1993 Leprechaun Leprechaun
1994 Leprechaun 2
1995 Leprechaun 3
1996 Gulliver's Travels Grildrig
Leprechaun 4: In Space Leprechaun
1997 Prince Valiant Pechet
1998 A Very Unlucky Leprechaun Lucky
1999 Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Yoda (walk-in shots)
Weazel
Wald
The New Adventures of Pinocchio Dwarf
Pepe the Cricket
The White Pony Lucky
2000 The 10th Kingdom Acorn the Dwarf
Leprechaun in the Hood Leprechaun
2001 Snow White: The Fairest of Them All Saturday
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Professor Flitwick
The voice of Griphook (played by Verne Troyer)
2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Professor Flitwick
Al's Lads Leo
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 Marvin the Paranoid Android Voiced by Alan Rickman
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
Ministry of Magic Employee
2008 Agent One-Half Agent One-Half
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Nikabrik
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Professor Flitwick
Tell Him Next Year Santa's Elf Short film
2010 Merlin Grettir Episode: "The Eye of the Phoenix"
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 Griphook
2011 Dick and Dom's Funny Business Himself
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 Griphook
Professor Flitwick
Life's Too Short Himself Creator
2012 An Idiot Abroad Himself Series 3
Chingari Gangster Boss As featured on An Idiot Abroad 3
2013 Doctor Who Porridge Episode: "Nightmare in Silver"
Jack the Giant Slayer Old Hamm
Top Gear Himself Episode: Series 20, Episode 1
Ashens and the Quest for the Gamechild Himself/ The Silver Skull Unmasked Independent film
Dwarves Assemble Oberon the Ufgood All episodes
"The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz" Himself/Presenter Documentary
Bookaboo Himself Episode: "Dustbin Dad"
2014-2015 Weekend Escapes with Warwick Davis Presenter 2 series
Celebrity Squares Presenter
2014 Get Santa Sally
Text Santa Father Christmas
2015 Piers Morgan's Life Stories Himself
The One Show Guest presenter Stand-in presenter
Catherine Tate's Nan Graham Fanee Episode: "Nanger Management"
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Wollivan
Realms of Fightinge Teuthis Web series
2015— Planet's Got Talent Narrator 2 series
2016 Billionaire Boy Himself Television movie
The Dumping Ground Lou 2 episodes
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Weeteef Cyubee
The Entire Universe The Big Bang Television special
Fantastic Beasts and JK Rowling's Wizarding World Presenter Television special
Jonathan Creek Rev. Wendell Wilkie Episode: "Daemons' Roost"
2016— Tenable Presenter ITV game show
2017 Who Do You Think You Are? Himself 1 episode
Comic Relief Co-presenter 2017 telethon
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Post-production

[ Source: Wikipedia ]