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Eric Shaun Lynch (March 11, 1975 – September 20, 2014), better known as Eric the Midget and later Eric the Actor,[2] was a member of The Howard Stern Show's Wack Pack. Lynch was, at his peak, 3 ft 5 in (1.04 m) tall,[3] weighed 85 lb (39 kg), and had various health issues, most notably Ehlers-Danlos.[4] He used a motorized wheelchair for mobility.[5] Despite his poor health, he claimed to have outlived every doctor's prediction for his life expectancy.[6]

Eric the Actor
Eric Shaun Lynch

(1975-03-11)March 11, 1975
DiedSeptember 20, 2014(2014-09-20) (aged 39)

Medical conditions

Eric's height was cited at between 3 ft 0 in (0.91 m) and 3 ft 5 in (1.04 m), which is within the threshold to be considered to have dwarfism. Because of his short legs, weak joints, and a club foot, he employed a wheelchair to get around. His other afflictions included stork bite which gave him a "blotchy" complexion[7] and Ehlers–Danlos syndrome, which resulted in gnarled fingers.[8]

The Howard Stern Show

Eric initially called in on September 19, 2002 to discuss American Idol.[5][9] Lynch had called to respond to Stern's statements that contestant Kelly Clarkson was not overly attractive.[5][9] Stern initially talked to Lynch with mild enthusiasm, but after an extended discussion regarding Lynch's unique voice and speaking style, Lynch revealed that he was 3 ft 5 in (1.04 m) tall, which piqued Stern's interest.[5] Eric was frequently at odds with The Howard Stern Show, its staff, its callers and its guests.[9][10]

Eric made one in-studio appearance on November 3, 2008 alongside two prostitutes from the Bunny Ranch. Also present were Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines, wrestler Kurt Angle and American Idol alumna Diana DeGarmo.[11][12]

Other media

Eric preferred to be called Eric the Actor.[2] For legal reasons, Eric requested that his full official title be "Eric the Actor, formerly known as Eric the Midget" in order to protect the "Eric the Midget" trade name.[13] Lynch made his television debut in a cameo on American Dreams in 2005.[14] Lynch also appeared on Fringe in 2010,[2] In Plain Sight in 2012,[15] and Legit in 2014. Eric appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2008.[14]

Eric also participated in a number of podcasting ventures. He hosted American Idol and America's Got Talent wrap-up shows including an American Idol discussion show on Howard 101 which featured Brian Dunkleman as co-host.[16] He made appearances on TNA Wrestling's web offering TNA Today alongside wrestling personalities Mike Tenay and Jeremy Borash in 2012.[17][18]


On September 20, 2014 Lynch was admitted to a hospital because of heart problems. After arriving, Lynch's liver and kidneys began to shut down and he died.[19][20]

On September 21, Lynch's longtime friend and manager Johnny Fratto became the first to report his death. Fratto tweeted "I am so sorry and so sad to inform everyone that my friend Eric "The Actor" Lynch passed away yesterday afternoon!!!"[21][22]

News of Lynch's death received considerable media attention with outlets as high profile as Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, CNN and TMZ all reporting his death. Celebrities including Zach Braff, Zac Efron and Diana Degarmo among others Tweeted their condolences, with Eric's trademark sign off "bye for now" trending number one as a Twitter Hashtag. Jimmy Kimmel was so upset by the news that he called The Stern Show first thing on September 22, even though he had an infant child and it was only 4:00 am Pacific Daylight Time during the broadcast. Eric, a huge fan of WWE and the Oakland A's, was mourned during telecasts of both organizations, with the on-air personalities signing off the A's broadcast by saying "bye for now." Eric's roommate Jon spoke with Howard and encouraged fans to have Eric's favorite foods, Pepsi and bacon, in his honor.[23]

Lynch was buried at Oakmont Memorial Park in Lafayette, California.[24]


Year Title Role Episode
2005 American Dreams Eric "It's My Life"
2010 Fringe Homeless Man "The Box"
2012 In Plain Sight Landlord "Four Marshals and a Baby"
2014 Legit Big Pete "Weekend"

See also


  1. ^ Geracie, Bud (March 28, 2013). "Howard Stern Show regular gives San Jose Sharks a boost". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
    • a "...Lynch, a 38-year-old Sacramento man confined to a wheelchair, and a 10-year regular caller to the Stern Show." — ¶ 8.
  2. ^ a b c Tucker, Ken (2010-08-02). "'Fringe' gets a visit from Howard Stern's Eric... the Actor". Entertainment Weekly.
  3. ^ From December 8, 2011 Stern interview
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d Mercer, Mark (2002-09-20). "Goofing On Rosie O'Donnell And Eric The Midget. 9/19/02. 7:55am". Howard Stern Show News Archives. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
  6. ^ Howard Howard Retrieved on 2011-10-29.
  7. ^ Hot but not bothered – The Howard Stern Show. (2009-03-26). Retrieved on 2011-10-29.
  8. ^ The big winner? – The Howard Stern Show. (2006-06-28). Retrieved on 2011-10-29.
  9. ^ a b c Popkin, Helen A.S. (2005-12-14). "Howard Stern's cast of characters, from Robin to High Pitch Eric". Today.
  10. ^ "News from the Eric's". 2007-11-09.
  11. ^ Eric's historic appearance – The Howard Stern Show. (2008-11-03). Retrieved on 2011-10-29.
  12. ^ Abramson, Adam. "'Eric the Midget,' Howard Stern, Diana DeGarmo all meet". Newsday.
  13. ^ "'Stern Show Summary Mar 12 2013".
  14. ^ a b "Eric Lynch". IMDb.
  15. ^ "Little Man, Huge Pain". 2012-01-30.
  16. ^ "THE PRINCE VISITS THE KING". 10 March 2006.
  17. ^ "TNA Today (Oct 9, 2012): Mike Tenay & Eric The Actor". Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. YouTube. 6 October 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  18. ^ "Stern Show News - Archive". Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  19. ^ Lindelof, Bill (September 22, 2014). "Sacramento resident and Stern show regular Eric the Actor dies". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  20. ^ "Howard Stern Wack Packer Eric the Actor Dead at 39". TMZ. September 21, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  21. ^ Stedman, Alex (September 21, 2014). "Eric 'The Actor' Lynch, Howard Stern 'Wack Packer,' Dies at 39". Variety. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  22. ^ "Johnny Fratto on Twitter: "I am so sorry and so sad to inform everyone that my friend Eric "The Actor" Lynch passed away yesterday afternoon!!!". 2014-09-21. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
  23. ^ "Stern Show News - Archive". Retrieved 2015-08-24.
  24. ^ Oakmont Memorial Park and Mortuary. Retrieved 2018-09-15}}

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