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Deep Roy

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Deep Roy
Roy at the 2014 Florida SuperCon
Mohinder Purba

(1957-12-01) 1 December 1957 (age 66)
Other namesGurdeep
  • Actor
  • stuntman
  • puppeteer
Years active1976–present
Height132 cm (4 ft 4 in)

Gurdeep Roy (born Mohinder Purba; 1 December 1957), known professionally as Deep Roy, is a Kenyan and British actor, puppeteer, and stuntman. At 132 centimetres (4 ft 4 in) tall,[1] he has often been cast as diminutive characters, such as Teeny Weeny in The NeverEnding Story, all the Oompa-Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Keenser in Star Trek and its sequels, and in television series such as The X-Files, Doctor Who, and Eastbound & Down.

Life and career[edit]

Roy was born on 1 December 1957[2] in Nairobi[3] to Indian parents in a Sikh family. He studied accounting in London before dropping out at 18. He later enrolled in The Slim Wood School of Comedy and got his start in the entertainment arena in England in 1970 as a stand-up comic in local cabaret clubs. In April 1970, Roy opened on the UK stage in Ray Cooney's Miracle Worker at the Palace Theatre, Westcliff-on-Sea. He made his professional screen acting debut in a 1976 episode of The New Avengers, titled "Target!" as a character named Klokoe. He made his film debut later that same year, in The Pink Panther Strikes Again, as the Italian Assassin. Another early role was as Mr. Sin, the "pig-brained Peking Homunculus", a villain with a distinct appetite for homicide, in the Doctor Who serial The Talons of Weng-Chiang. In 1979, Roy played a genetically engineered life form "Decima" in the first season of Blake's 7 episode "The Web", the diminutive chess genius, "The Klute", in the second season of Blake's 7 episode "Gambit" and he voiced the character "Moloch", in the third season of Blake's 7 episode "Moloch". He was a stand-in for the Jedi Master Yoda in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.[citation needed] He is uncredited on the film but can be seen in many behind-the-scenes photos dressed as Yoda for perspective shots filmed towards the end of production.

He has played apes in two movies: Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, and again in the Tim Burton remake of Planet of the Apes (2001) in two roles, one as a young gorilla boy and as Thade's niece. He has worked for Burton in three other films, Big Fish (2003), Corpse Bride (2005), where he supplied General Bonesapart's voice, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (also 2005).[4] He played all the Oompa-Loompas (165 of them) in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.[5] In referencing his workload during production, director Tim Burton called Roy the "hardest-working man in show biz".[6] Roy had extensive training for the role in dance, yoga, and some minor instrument playing.

He has performed many other roles in films and on television, including The X-Files, Flash Gordon, Return to Oz (as the Tin Woodman), Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal as a puppeteer extra, The NeverEnding Story as Teeny Weeny, the rider of the "racing snail", Alien from L.A., Howling VI: The Freaks as Mr Toones and Return of the Jedi as Droopy McCool.[citation needed]

He appeared in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) as an Egyptian border guard and in the film Star Trek (also 2009) as Keenser, Scotty's assistant on the ice planet Delta Vega; he reprised the Keenser role in the sequels Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond. In one of his more prominent speaking roles, Roy played Aaron, a violent Mumbai-born Mexican criminal in the second season of the HBO comedy Eastbound & Down. Roy starred as Sandeep Majumdar in the 2012 short film The Ballad of Sandeep.[7]



Year Title Role Notes
1976 The Pink Panther Strikes Again Italian Assassin
1978 Benji's Very Own Christmas Story Key Elf Uncredited
1979 The Muppet Movie Stunt performer
Licensed to Love and Kill Dwarf
Die Brut des Bösen/Roots of Evil Van Bullock
1980 Flash Gordon Fellini
The Empire Strikes Back Yoda stand-in[8][9][10]
R2-D2 (double)
1982 The Dark Crystal Additional performer
Return of the Ewok Droopy McCool
1983 Mini Gulliver Mini Gull
Return of the Jedi Droopy McCool/puppeteer
R2-D2 (body double)
1984 This Is Spinal Tap Stunt performer
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes Primate sequences
The NeverEnding Story Teeny Weeny Voice overdubbed
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension Stunt performer
Lorca and the Outlaws a.k.a. Starship Grid
1985 Return to Oz Tin Man
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Stunt performer
1986 Weekend Warriors Little girl Uncredited
Poltergeist II: The Other Side Stunt performer
1987 Going Bananas Bonzo
1988 Alien from L.A. Mambino
1989 Rising Storm Joker Arroyo
Lethal Woman Grizabella
1990 Disturbed Marty
1991 Howling VI: The Freaks Toones
Hook Stunt performer
1992 The Resurrected Main monster
1993 Freaked George Ramirez No. 3
Leprechaun Stunt double for Warwick Davis
Josh and S.A.M. Stunt performer
1994 Dickwad Little Telephone Bully
Wes Craven's New Nightmare Stunt performer
The Little Rascals Stunt performer
The War Stunt performer
The Jungle Book Stunt performer
1995 Sudden Death Stunt performer
Under the Hula Moon Bus driver
1996 Matilda Stunt performer
1997 Retroactive Stunt performer
1998 Mafia! Small hitman Uncredited
BASEketball Stunt performer
The Adventures of Ragtime Stunt double for Justin Cooper
2000 Disney's The Kid Stunt double for Spencer Breslin
How the Grinch Stole Christmas Post office clerk
2001 Planet of the Apes Gorilla kid / Thade's niece
2003 The Haunted Mansion Hitchhiking ghost
A Man Apart Stunt performer
Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood Stunt double for Warwick Davis
Big Fish Mr. Soggybottom
2004 Surviving Eden Indian Mo
Van Helsing Stunt performer
2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Oompa-Loompas Singing voice provided by Danny Elfman; narrator's voice provided by Geoffrey Holder
Corpse Bride General Bonesapart Voice
2009 Star Trek Keenser
The Unborn Stunt performer Doubled[further explanation needed]Atticus Shaffer
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Egyptian guard
2012 Zambezia Mushana Voice
The Ballad of Sandeep Sandeep Majumdar
2013 Paranormal Movie Demon
Star Trek Into Darkness Keenser
2014 Mantervention Massage parlor owner
2016 Star Trek Beyond Keenser
2017 God Came 'Round Sandeep Short film/music video[11]
2019 Deep Into Love Dr. Love Short film


Year Title Role Notes
1976 The New Avengers Klokoe Episode: Target!
1977, 1986 Doctor Who Mr. Sin/Posicarian delegate (uncredited) The Talons of Weng-Chiang/Mindwarp
1978–1980 Blake's 7 Decima/The Klute/Moloch/Link 4 episodes
1989 Desperado: The Outlaw Wars Uncredited
1996 Evil Has a Face Stunt performer TV movie
2001 The X-Files Beggar man Episode: Badlaa
2002 Courage the Cowardly Dog Librarian Voice, episode: Cabaret Courage/Wrath of the Librarian
2003–2004 The Jamie Kennedy Experiment Himself 9 episodes
2010 Eastbound & Down Aaron 4 episodes
2012 Wolfpack of Reseda Mr. Jo Episode: Hungry Like the Wolf

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Role Artist
1996 "Grind" Evil Cherub 1 Alice in Chains
2007 "Calm Down Dearest" Jamie T
2021 "Atenção" Oompa-Loompas Pedro Sampaio and Luísa Sonza


  1. ^ Abramovitch, Seth (25 August 2016). "Little People, Big Woes in Hollywood: Low Pay, Degrading Jobs and a Tragic Death". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 11 March 2023.
  2. ^ "Famous Birthdays". Minneapolis Star Tribune. 1 December 2017. p. A2; "Today's Birthdays". The Baltimore Sun. 1 December 2014. p. A9.
  3. ^ "Roy | Star Trek". StarTrek.com. CBS Television Distribution and CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  4. ^ Scott, A. O. (15 July 2005). "Film review: Looking for the Candy, Finding a Back Story". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  5. ^ Kung, Michelle. "The sole Oompa-Loompa". people.com. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  6. ^ Colbourne, Scott (15 July 2005). "How'd They Do It? The Oompa-Loompa Factor". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 26 February 2021. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  7. ^ "About the film". The Ballad of Sandeep. Retrieved 31 January 2021.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Newbold, Mark (17 April 2021). "Star Wars 100 Interviews: Walking Yoda Deep Roy". fanthatracks.com. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  9. ^ "The making of Yoda, Part II". www.netdwellers.com. Retrieved 31 January 2021.[better source needed]
  10. ^ "Cut Scenes: Dagobah". www.starwarz.com. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2021.[better source needed]
  11. ^ "GOD CAME 'ROUND Starring Deep Roy, Directed by Derek Frey, song by Professor T & the East Side Shredders". 30 July 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2021.

External links[edit]