Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tattoo from Fantasy Island played by Hervé Villechaize

Hervé Villechaize born April 23, 1942 in Paris, France.  He is best known for playing Tatoo on the TV show "Fantasy Island" along with Ricardo Montalban who played Mr. Rourke. Hervé was famous for his signature expression in the show's opening "De plane, de plane! Boss, De plane".  As a fact of interest, his size was actually a result of a thyroid problem early in life. 


Hervé Villechaize as Tatoo in the TV show "Fantasy Island"

Hervé got his acting start in the film "Chappaqua" in 1966.  Four years later he starred in the short film "Item 72-D: The Adventures of Spa and Fon" co-starring Michael Sullivan, Larry Bercowitz, and Mark Alexander (1970).

Villechaize would go on to star in "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" co-starring Jerry Orbach, Leigh Taylor-Young, Jo Van Fleet, and Robert De Niro (1971); "The Last Stop" co-starring Deborah Cresswell, Troy Donahue and Susan Orpin (1972); "Greaser's Palace" co-starring Albert Henderson, Michael Sullivan, Luana Anders, Pablo Ferro, and Toni Basil (1972); "Malatesta's Carnival of Blood" Janine Carazo, Jerome Dempsey, Lenny Baker, and Daniel Dietrich (1973); "Seizure" co-starring Jonathan Frid, Martine Beswick, Christina Pickles, and Joseph Sirola (1974); and "Crazy Joe" co-starring Peter Boyle, Rip Torn, Paula Prentiss, and Fred Williamson (1974).


It was in 1974 that Hervé landed the role of the villian Nick Nack in the high profile James Bond movie "The Man with the Golden Gun".  He co-starred with Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Desmond Llewelyn, Soon-Tek Oh, Bernard Lee, and Lois Maxwell.



Hervé Villechaize as the villian Nick Nack in the James Bond film "The Man with the Golden Gun" 1974
Hervé Villechaize as Nick Nack in "The Man with the Golden Gun"

It would be a few years later in 1977 that Hervé would land his one and only and most famous TV series role as Tatoo on "Fantasy Island".  He co-starred with Ricardo Montalban as Mr. Roarke and a slew of other guest stars that would make their weekly appearance on the get away island.  A few common recurring stars were Carol Lynley (Catherine Harris), Barbi Benton (Bunny Kelly), Mary Ann Mobley (Amanda), Michelle Phillips (Andrea Barclay), and Maureen McCormick (Angela Brennan).  Hervé would play the role for 132 episodes until 1983 when he was tossed from the show because he demanded the same salary as Montalban. A year later, the show was cancelled due to a drop in the number of viewers.  Wonder why?

Ricardo Montalban (Mr. Roarke) and Hervé Villechaize(Tatoo) of the TV show "Fantasy Island"
Hervé Villechaize as Tatoo on the TV show "Fantasy Island"
Hervé Villechaize(Tatoo) and Ricardo Montalban (Mr. Roarke) of the TV show "Fantasy Island"

After Fantasy Island, Hervé began suffering from depression and health problems.  He would not get another role again until 1988 and that was a voice role in the film "The Telephone" starring Whoopi Goldberg, Severn Darden, John Heard, and Elliott Gould.  That same year he managed to land a role in "Two Moon Junction" co-starring Sherilyn Fenn, Burl Ives, Richard Tyson, Millie Perkins, Kristy McNichol, Louise Fletcher, and Milla Jovovich.



Hervé Villechaize

Another three years later in 1991, Hervé appeared as a guest star on "The Carol Burnett Show".  This would be his last appearance. 

Hervé Villechaize passed away September 4, 1993 due to injuries from a self inflicted gun shot wound.  His suffering from depression and illnesses in the later years of his life took its toll and he succumbed to the pain and stress.



2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the memories Herve.

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  2. Somehow, I never knew that he had committed suicide...how very sad. I know what it's like to suffer from depression.

    RIP Mr. Villechaize...

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