Book Review: The Big Life of a Little Man

Sometimes you find books on the shelf, and sometimes by a recommendation.  This time, I discovered the author.  Sherry Kelly with her husband Don had been told by a friend to try selling her book at a science fiction convention.  They came into the dealer room, looking for their table, which was directly across the aisle from mine.  They came well prepared, with a projector to show photos from the book and various visual aides.  It didn’t take me long to get caught up into their story.

The Big Life of a Little Man is the biography of the famous dwarf actor Michael Dunn who I remember from the Wild, Wild West television show as Dr. Lovelace. He was also Sherry Kelly’s cousin and her depth of research included 175 footnotes, and that doesn’t count all the little remembrances I heard across the aisle over the course of the weekend.  So by Saturday, I was intrigued enough to buy a copy for myself.

It’s now Monday, after reading the whole book through in one sitting.  It’s an engrossing tale, not only of an actor I remembered from back when, but also a engaging story of the other side of that life, his family.  Sherry includes many quotes from letters and stories from Michael Dunn himself as well as from a family that had gone the extra mile to raise a child with physical problems into a man with a full life that stamped his own imprint onto the world.

To be honest, I’m not a huge reader of biographies, so I can only review this book as a tale, a story of emotion, struggles, victories and defeats.  Like I said.  I read it in one sitting, it carries a strong narrative, and with enough details about the man behind the actor that I really need to put the Wild, Wild West DVD’s  and the movie Ship of Fools on my viewing list. And I think after you read the book, you will too.


  1. Henry, you are an amazing man. After knowing you for only 2 days, you have stamped this virtue in my mind. Your actions then and now are very impressive. don kelly

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