Nelson de la Rosa

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Nelson de la Rosa Martínez
Died (aged 38)
Other namesMahow
Years active1987–2006
Spouse(s)Jennifer De Leonel

Nelson de la Rosa Martínez (c. 1967/1968 – October 22, 2006), a.k.a. Mahow, was a Dominican actor and one of the shortest men of the 20th and 21st centuries.[1] Nelson measured 71 centimeters tall (about 2 feet 4 inches).

Acting career[edit]

De la Rosa starred in the 1987 feature Italian horror film made in Dominican Republic called Ratman. During the 1990s Nelson continued his path to international success by becoming a staple guest at Venevision's television show Súper Sábado Sensacional in Venezuela, and, later on, he would be invited as a guest to Don Francisco's show, Sábado Gigante, and to other Univision shows. His popularity took him to other Hispanic countries such as Argentina, where he featured several times in Susana Giménez show, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Spain and others. He married, and had a son.

He had a minor role in the Hollywood production The Island of Dr. Moreau, where he shared lines with Marlon Brando, among others. This role is said to be the inspiration for the Austin Powers movie character Mini-Me, as well as Kevin who accompanies Dr. Alphonse Mephisto in South Park. Another very popular appearance was in the video for the song Coolo by the Argentine hip hop group Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas. De la Rosa had been approached by many American media operators and television shows, such as ESPN and others, for a feature about his life. So far, however, no plans to film a documentary about him have been completed.


De la Rosa befriended then Boston Red Sox pitcher and fellow Dominican, Pedro Martínez, who began to take de la Rosa to playoff games as a good luck charm during the 2004 MLB playoffs. He was often referred to as "Pedro's Lucky Midget."

He was a main attraction in the "Hermanos Mazzini" and "Las Águilas Humanas" circuses, which marketed him as the Guinness World Record-holder for world's smallest man at 54 cm (21.25 inches),[2] though this organization does not endorse this claim.[3]

While no official diagnosis of the cause of de la Rosa's short stature is known, it has been speculated that he was born with the genetic syndrome MOPD II (microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II). The primary symptoms of the syndrome include extreme proportional short stature, as well as distinct facial features similar to those exhibited by Nelson de la Rosa. There are approximately 100 known cases of MOPD II in the world at this time, spread throughout various ethnic backgrounds.


He died at the age of 38, October 22, 2006 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, reportedly from heart failure. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer De Leonel, and nine-year-old son.[4] His remains were transferred to the Dominican Republic, and buried in the Cristo Redentor cemetery.


  1. ^ "Nelson De La Rosa, 38, Actor and Good-Luck Charm for Red Sox, Dies". The New York Times. October 23, 2006.
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  4. ^ "". Archived from the original on September 10, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-10.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

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