Mark Povinelli

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Mark Povinelli
Born (1971-08-09) August 9, 1971 (age 48)
OccupationActor, social activist
Years active1998–present
Spouse(s)Heather Davis (m. 2001)

Mark Povinelli (born August 9, 1971) is an American stage, television and movie actor who also does occasional stunt work. Povinelli is also a noted social activist advocating for the rights of others with dwarfism. In June 2017 Povinelli was elected President of the Little People of America, an organization started in 1957 by Billy Barty,[1] which promotes awareness, advocacy and medical assistance for individuals with forms of dwarfism. Povinelli stands 3’ 9½" and weighs 75 pounds (115 cm, 34 kg) as a consequence of spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SEDc), a skeletal dysplasia caused by a mutation in the COL2A1 (type II collagen) gene.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Povinelli was born in Elyria, Ohio, and is the youngest of four children. His parents and siblings are average-size. His older brother Brian Povinelli is a marketer who inspired Mark's acting career. He is of Italian descent.[3] Povinelli graduated from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Wheaton, Maryland in 1989, and then graduated in 1993 from Miami University (as a member of Kappa Alpha Order) with a degree in Mass Communications and a minor in Theater Acting. His repertory encompasses drama, comedy, and fantasy. He has appeared in a wide range of productions, from stage plays by William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson to roles in television series such as Modern Family[4] and Boardwalk Empire, as well as in popular movies including The Polar Express (2004, directed by Robert Zemeckis). Onstage in 2003 in Lee Breuer's production of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, retitled Mabou Mines DollHouse,[5] Povinelli drew praise from The New York Times: "The men embody small-minded convention and stunted possibilities...Mr. Povinelli makes us feel Torvald's repressive sexual virility at every turn."[6] He has characterized his approach to acting for The Village Voice: "Being so tremendously different provides you with an analytical depth ... Like any actor, I try to bring as much of myself to the role I'm playing as possible. Every day I go out I'm made aware of my size. Why should I deny myself the richness of that experience when I go onstage?"[7]

Povinelli starred opposite Robert Pattinson and Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz in the Fox 2011 film, Water for Elephants,[8][9] playing the role of Kinko. The film was adapted from the NY Times bestseller by Sara Gruen and premiered April 2011.[10][11]

He appeared in Mirror Mirror[12] (2012), which starred Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer (The Social Network), and Lily Collins. In the same year, Povinelli was cast as a series regular on the television series Are You There, Chelsea?, starring Laura Prepon. This made him the first little person ever to be cast as a series regular on a network studio sitcom.

In 2015-2016 he had a recurring role as "The Cat" in the Amazon Studios original Mad Dogs, which also starred Steve Zahn and Michael Imperioli.

Since 2014 Mark can be heard weekly on LA Talk Radio's "Perfectly Imperfect Radio" program.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Povinelli currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Heather Davis, and their two children.






  1. ^ "Hollywood Actor Billy Barty Dies at Age 76". ABC News.
  2. ^ "Dominant mutations in the type II collagen gene, COL2A1, produce spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia, Strudwick type". 11 (1). September 1995: 87–9. doi:10.1038/ng0995-87. PMID 7550321. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Our Children, Ourselves
  5. ^
  6. ^ Jefferson, M. Theater review: Fun-House Proportions Turn Dominance Upside Down. The New York Times. 2003, November 24.
  7. ^ McNulty, "Welcome to Lee Breuer's Dollhouse: Lee Breuer Goes Little — and Literal — With His Production of Ibsen's Classic". The Village Voice. 2003, November 12–18.
  8. ^
  9. ^,_Mark/gallery/LAG-000142/
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-15. Retrieved 2014-05-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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