Josh Ryan Evans Biography
Joshua or Josh Ryan Evans was an American actor, best known for his role as ‘Timmy Lenox’ in the ‘NBC’ TV series ‘Passions.’ He was born and raised in California, US. He had a congenital heart ailment and a rare growth disorder called achondroplasia, which limited his height to 3 feet 2 inches. Even after crossing the age of 15, he had appearance and voice of a small child. He contacted an agent at the age of 12, without his parents’ knowledge, and appeared in a commercial, which became very popular. After this commercial, he received several offers of acting, and made his screen debut with the sitcom ‘Family Matters.’ He featured as different characters in a number of television shows and films. Some of his notable portrayals include Oren Koolie in ‘Ally McBeal,’ General Tom Thumb in ‘P.T. Barnum,’ Young Grinch in ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas,’ and as Timmy Lenox in ‘Passions.’ The last one brought him awards and nominations. His personal motto was ‘It is not the size of the dreamer, it’s the size of the dream,’ and before signing any autograph he always wrote ‘Dream Big.’ Evans died on August 5, 2002, at a San Diego hospital during a medical procedure related to his congenital heart condition.
- Evans was born on January 10, 1982, in Hayward, California, to Cheryl and Chuck Evans. His parents divorced later. Josh had two elder brothers – Timothy Michael, (born December, 1971) who died in 1980. His second brother is James L. Evans (born December 1972).
- Evans suffered from achondroplacia, a type of dwarfism caused by a genetic condition that constrains cartilage growth and physical development. He also had congenital heart problem and before reaching his teen years, he underwent three heart operations. As a child, while recovering from the surgeries at hospitals or home, he spent most of his time watching movies and TV shows. Watching TV provided him a total escape and took him away from his problems. This inspired him to pursue acting as a profession. He believed that if he could help provide that escape to just one person, it would be great way to spend his life.
- At the age of 12, he printed his own business cards and in 1994, contacted an agent without informing his parents. He soon booked an assignment and appeared in ‘The Dancing Baby’ commercial for ‘Dreyer’s/Edy’s Ice Cream.’ The commercial became very popular and won ‘Cloe Award.’
- The popularity of the commercial brought him TV and film offers. He made his TV debut in two Halloween episodes of the sitcom ‘Family Matters’ (1996-1997), in which he played the role of ‘Stevil.’ In 1998, he essayed the part of a child prodigy attorney, ‘Oren Koolie,’ in two episodes of ‘Fox’s’ legal comedy drama ‘Ally McBeal,’ wherein he confronted the main character, played by Calista Flockhart.
- Evans landed his first feature film role in ‘Columbia Pictures/ Tristar’s’ ‘Baby Geniuses’ (1999), in which he appeared as a toddler. He played the main role of ‘General Tom Thumb,’ the dwarf circus performer, in the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ cable presentation miniseries, ‘P.T. Barnum’ (1999). He appeared as ‘Adam’ in 1999’s TV drama series ‘7th Heaven,’ and provided voice for ‘Showtime’s’ ‘Poltergeist: The Legacy,’ and ‘Nickelodeon’s animated TV series ‘Hey, Arnold!’
- In 2000, Evans appeared in the feature film ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ and essayed the role of ‘Young Grinch’ (Adult Grinch was portrayed by Jim Carrey). Evans enjoyed this role, though the make-up of ‘young Grinch’ took almost 5 ½ hours, two hours more than Jim Carrey’s make-up. He also liked working with the film’s director, Ron Howard, who is a former child star. According to Howard, Evans’ role was originally planned as only a small walk-on part as a funny, green creature that is a classroom misfit, but the role changed after the director met Evans. In Howard’s words, ‘Evans generated a lot of heart for the story.’
- Evans became famous for the role of a living doll, ‘Timmy Lenox,’ in the ‘NBC’ soap opera, ‘Passions’ (July 1999 – August 2002). This was an unusual role of a doll created by resident witch, ‘Tabitha Lenox,’ who later, (by the winter episodes of the series), turns the doll into a real boy. His was the most popular and memorable character of the show. Evans received a number of awards and nominations for his portrayal of ‘Timmy’ in ‘Passions.’
- In 2000 and 2001, Evans won two consecutive ‘Soap Opera Digest Awards,’ first for ‘Favorite Scene Stealer’ and then the next year as ‘Outstanding Male Scene Stealer’ for his portrayal of ‘Timmy’ in the series ‘Passions.’
- In 2001, he was nominated for ‘Daytime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Younger Actor’ for his role in ‘Passions.’ In 2000, the same role fetched him nomination for ‘Young Artist Award’ for ‘Best Performance in a Soap Opera – Young Actor.’ In the same year, Evans won a ‘Hollywood Reporters’ YoungStar Award’ for ‘Best Young Actor/performance in a Daytime TV Series.’ He received the ‘Vision Award’ in 2001.
- Because of his genetic condition of achondroplasia, Evans was 3 feet 2 inches tall. But he considered his size as an asset. According to him, because of his size, people wrote roles for him. If he was to be just another blonde-haired, brown-eyed 18 years old, he would have been left unrecognized.
- Evans had a congenital heart condition. He passed away on August 5, 2002, during a medical procedure, in a San Diego Hospital, California. A strange coincidence happened on the day he died - the episode of ‘Passions’ in which his character ‘Timmy’ dies after donating his heart to ‘Charity’ was aired on the same day. This episode was taped weeks earlier and his character was supposed to return to the series as a ‘Presence.’ This episode was dedicated to him.
- Evans was cremated and his ashes rest at the ‘Forest Lawn Memorial Park,’ Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California.
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