[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 12 August 2005, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
Bogus Oompa Loompa admits lying
A 4ft-tall Nevada man has admitted he lied about playing an Oompa Loompa in the original 1971 Willy Wonka film.

Actor and hairdresser Ezzy Dame said he first made the false claim 20 years ago when his agent advised him to "pad" his resume with the bogus acting credit.

But his lie was exposed last month when Rusty Goffe, who did play one of Gene Wilder's helpers in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, refuted his claims.

Dame told the Reno Gazette-Journal the deception "was not for fame or glory".

"I never made a profit or earned a financial gain from this," he said.

"I never meant to harm anyone. It was a little white lie that became my haunted nightmare."


Dame's deception came to light when the same newspaper asked him to comment on Tim Burton's new version of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The article came to Goffe's attention, who contacted the newspaper's reporters by email.

Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
There were 10 Oompa Loompas in the original 1971 film

"There were only 10 original Oompa Loompas," said Goffe, who describes himself as "the United Kingdom's No. 1 Dwarf".

Of the ten only four are still alive, he said - adding that Dame was not one of them.

"I guess Ezzy is a nice guy, but we have to be loyal and truthful to the fans."

Dame would present screenings of Mel Stuart's 1971 film in his home town and host question and answer sessions.

"When you say you played that part [children] look at you and smile," he said, defending his actions.

"They see you as a human being."

In Burton's film, computer trickery is used to enable one actor - 4ft 4in Deep Roy - to play all of Wonka's helpers.

Wonka film remains on top in US
25 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
Giant lollies mark Wonka premiere
17 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
Willy Wonka's everlasting film plot
11 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
How are squirrels trained to act?
29 Jul 05 |  Magazine


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific