alf, alf actor, alf star, Michu MeszarosMichu Meszaros, the actor who played the alien ALF in the 1980s NBC sitcom, has died. He was 76.

The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the actor's passing with his manager, Dennis Varga, who told THR that Meszaros died at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance, California after being found unresponsive at his Hawthorne, California home a few days ago. No cause of death was given.

Meszaros, who was born in Budapest, Hungary, was 33 inches tall, and began his performing career in the circus at age 14. He eventually moved to the United States and joined Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus in 1973, where he caught the eye of Michael Jackson. The pair eventually formed a close friendship, and later starred together in a Pepsi commercial.

The actor became a beloved television star when he appeared on "ALF," playing the titular alien -- a.k.a. Alien Life Form -- on a handful of episodes throughout the show's four-season run, wearing the furry costume for full-body "walk around" shots of the character. The rest of the time, ALF was performed by puppeteer Paul Fusco, a co-creator of the series.

In addition to his television work -- which also included a role on sitcom "Dear John" -- Meszaros also appeared in several films, including "Waxwork," "Big Top Pee-Wee," "Warlock: The Armageddon," "Look Who's Talking," and "Freaked."

Meszaros, who became an American citizen in 1990, is survived by Varga and Varga's wife, Irene, with whom he shared a home.

[via: The Hollywood Reporter]