Nelson de la Rosa, once recognized as the world’s shortest actor and a ubiquitous good-luck charm for the Boston Red Sox during their victorious 2004 World Series run, died Oct. 22 in New York. He was 38.
De la Rosa, who stood about 2 feet 4 inches tall, died of unknown causes.
He fell ill shortly after arriving in Miami on Friday from Chile, where the Dominican national had been working in a circus. On Saturday, he traveled to New York, where two of his brothers live, Duran said.
Born and raised in a small village near San Miguel, in Santo Domingo province, the charismatic De la Rosa became internationally known when he appeared alongside actor Marlon Brando in the 1996 film, “The Island of Dr. Moreau.”
He was believed to be the world’s shortest actor and one of the world’s smallest men.
After the baseball fan was introduced to then-Boston ace Pedro Martinez by a mutual friend, the two Dominican men became friends. De la Rosa became a regular presence in the team’s clubhouse in the playoffs of the 2004 season, in which the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years.
De la Rosa is survived by his wife, Jennifer, a son, his mother and five siblings.