Michu Meszaros: The Man Behind the Mask
Anyone old enough to remember television from the late 80’s and early 90’s remembers the sitcom starring the loveable alien, ALF. A fun-loving, furry, foul-mouthed extraterrestrial who snacked on cats, ALF swept through America and was in the top 25 shows in the nation from its debut in 1986 until its final season and decline to number 39 in 1990. But who was the man behind ALF? Although Paul Fusco is credited as the puppeteer and voice of Alf, the man behind the mask was Michu Meszaros.
Born on October 1, 1939 in Budapest, Hungary, Mihaly "Michu" Meszaros was best known for his performances and stunts with the Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus, and as the man in the ALF costume. Standing at only 33”, Michu Meszaros was not the puppeteer, but fit perfectly in the tiny full-body ALF costume. While most shots could be taken of Alf’s upper body, some required full-body; this is where Meszaros worked his magic. Though he was 2’9” at his tallest, Meszaros took life by the horns appearing in numerous television and film projects, his last being Death to Cupid in 2015.
An announcement was made on June 12, 2016, stating Meszaros was discovered unconscious on his bathroom floor by his manager Dennis Varga. He was taken to a local Los Angeles hospital where he remained in a comatose state through the night. He had previously suffered from numerous health conditions including a stroke and, unfortunately, never recovered from the coma. On June 13, 2016, Michu passed away at the age of 76, at the Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centre, in Torrance, California. No specific cause was given for his death and his friends stated shortly after that services arrangements were on a temporary hold due to financial hardships.