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David Rappaport

Brief Biography

~"There are forces in nature that even science doesn't understand.  There are powers within us that can work miracles." - Simon - El Dorado~

~~ "When I was asked to write about David Rappaport's career I at once felt honoured & dismayed. How could I ever cover the gamut of this talented man's career in so few lines? How could I tell of his time at the National Theatre in Peter Hall's VOLPONE & Ken Campbell's ILLUMINATUS? There simply was not enough time to explain how he came to star in the TIME BANDITS. Who will believe the audacity of his one-man shows, the acidity of his wit in BBC 2's GRAPEVINE or on TVAM?

Christopher Fettes first cast him as the Pope in his production of DR. FAUSTUS (which also began at the Lyric). Now for the second time Mr. Fettes shows his originality by letting him loose as the Doctor in Ionesco's EXIT THE KING.

(Potted biography by D. Rappaport)"

((biography transcribed from the poster/program for EXIT THE KING, Lyric Studio, June 16 - July 16, 1983))~~

(((The MGT. felt the same way while writing the following.)))

He may have had achondroplastic dwarfism, but there was absolutely nothing little, small, tiny, diminutive or pint-sized about David Stephen Rappaport.

Born November 23, 1951 in London, England, David spent the next 38 years proving the adage that it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog that truly matters (without even actually trying to).  He didn't see his condition as an abnormal disadvantage, nor should he have.  David was, however, conscious of the stereotypical views society in general held in regards to his physical height & body type through observation as well as personal experience.

David was handsome, charming, sincere & deeply passionate.  He had a natural commanding presence, innate gift for performing, super-sharp mind & razor-tongued wit.  He was also ambidextrous. Despite eventually gaining status as an international superstar, one thing David never possessed was a superstar ego.  One thing David did possess was an impressive resume.

Music was always an important part of his life.  David played accordion, drums, piano & trumpet.  He also loved the double bass violin & never gave up trying to find a way to master the instrument.  The drumming turned into a professional sideline as a way to earn money in college & he continued playing professional gigs for the rest of his life.  David was, most certainly, an eclectic musician, performing with a variety of musical groups from different genres ~ Jazz music being a particular favorite.

He also held many odd jobs during college in the pursuit of a career path.  After graduating college with a degree in psychology, spending time hitchhiking in the U.S. & traveling through Ireland, David settled into a career as a school teacher working with 8 & 9 year olds.  This career path would eventually take an extraordinary turn.

Although David enjoyed acting & performing, he was initially against pursuing it as a full-time career.  He was fortunate enough to be offered many choice roles, which he would take on occasion.  David forever referred to himself as a "reluctant actor" because the career pursued him more than he ever pursued it.  The role that changed everything was his turn as Markoff Chaney in the stage adaptation of the Illuminatus! trilogy.  A part in which, at one point, he stood alone on stage & delivered a 30-minute soliloquy.  David was, once again, a sensation.  It was never difficult to see the passion in his work.  When the show went to London, he was left with a choice of staying in the steady teaching job with the pension or treading the boards.  The final decision was, of course, to leave the classroom for the stage, but David remained a teacher for the rest of his life.

At first, David would take any role that came along to see, be seen & learn all he could about his now chosen profession.  He made it a point to move past this initial stage as quickly as possible & never go back.  It would have been very easy to build a career based solely on his body type.  Luckily for us all, David chose to focus on his talent instead.  David didn't mind taking roles that called for a 'dwarf' or 'little person', just so long as the character was a real person & not a stereotypical marionette.  In fact, he was offered & accepted many roles that didn't call for any size or body type stipulations.  David also made a personal choice to not accept roles that required him to work inside of robots or full-bodied puppet costumes.  Most notably turning down the role of R2D2 in Star Wars.  A role which later went to one of his Time Bandits co-stars, Kenny Baker.  This was a decision David was proud of & never regretted.

It was his role as Randall, the monocle sporting, self-appointed leader of the Bandits that brought David into the international spotlight.  He was already a celebrity in his native U.K. with acting, writing & directing credits stretching the field from stage to street theater to television to major motion pictures.  David had also held public office as Minister of Foreign Affairs for the nation of Frestonia.

Hollywood came knocking on his door after his Oscar worthy (yet sadly overlooked), scene stealing, heartstring tugging tour de force as Rinaldo, the trapeze artist, in The Bride.  David made guest appearances on many U.S. television series both before & after The Wizard.  A couple of those appearances were in episodes that also included Fran Ryan.

It's not often that an actor can boast of being hired as the star of anything without even auditioning, but that's exactly what happened to David & The Wizard.  According to David, he was very shocked to learn of this new job from an unsuspecting stranger at a party.  The Wizard was the perfect vehicle for an actor who loved science fiction, magic & working with children.  Simon McKay was a character very close to David's heart & he was able to add a great deal of himself to the character to the point where even he had trouble discerning where David ended & Simon began.  The fans picked up on this immediately & it added something extra special to the entire experience.  David was even able to incorporate his music into the show.  Most notably, Simon would play the drums when he needed to think.

The show also offered David a chance to work with some very wonderful people, both in front of & behind the camera.  He wrote the original story for the episode entitled Trouble in the Stars.  In that episode, David was able to delve a bit deeper into Simon's early years while also showing off his love of science fiction & magical special effects.  David also contributed to writing, post production & special effects for other episodes.  He even had a sort of souvenir from The Wizard in the form of his dog, Ricci.  Ricci's mom was none other than Lou, the dog who played Aegis in Dale Kern & Doug Barr's story, Seeing is Believing.  David named his dog after his favorite singer, Ricci Lee Jones, & even boasted of teaching Ricci the dog to sing the songs of Ricci the human.

Like Simon, family & friendship were very important to David.  He was very blessed with a loving & supportive family & network of friends.  David's parents, Mark & Dinah Rappaport, dismissed the notion that their son should have been treated differently than everyone else. They refused to send him to any kind of special school.  David's mother instilled the importance of civic duty in her sons & even took young David to hospitals & nursing homes to play accordion for the patients.  A very important person in David's life was his son, Joe.  David was always proud of his son & happy to boast about Joe in his interviews & the personal letters he included in his fan club newsletters.  All of David's fans continue to keep Joe & all of David's family & friends close to their hearts.

~"Alex, man can live without air for seconds, without water for days, without food for weeks & without answers forever.  You'll survive." - Simon - Twist of Fate~



written by The MGT. & David Rappaport ~ with lots of help from Irving Rappaport    Updated 9/30/07

~   David's favorite color was light blue.  Hence, that color appears on certain pages throughout the site.  (Hopefully, someday, I'll be able to capture the right shade.)

    Most of the information contained herein was provided by David, himself, via numerous interviews, personal fan club letters & an audio tape he made for the members of his fan club in 1988.  A copy of that recording was given to The MGT. by Cathy K., who remains a very proud, steadfastly loyal, card carrying member.~

email: themgt@thewizardtvfansite.com

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