Deep Roy is a Kenyan-British actor known for his small height, and diminutive roles such as the Oompa-Loompas in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
Gurdeep Roy was born to Sikh Indian parents in Nairobi, Kenya. His exact birth year is uncertain, being either 1949 or 1957. The actor is a very private person, so not much is known about his early life. Deep studied accounting for some time at a University in London, until he decided to pursue a career in show business and dropped out when still 18 years old.
He was pursuing finance only because of his father’s demands but didn’t feel as if that was truly his calling in life. He did, however, get an education at The Slim Wood School of Comedy, where he got a feel of the English entertainment industry and started doing stand-up comedy in local clubs.
Deep Roy stands at the height of 4ft 4in (1.32m) – he has a condition called pituitary dwarfism or growth hormone deficiency (GHD). People with this condition have average body proportions but an abnormally short body. When asked about his height, he told the Hollywood Reporter, ‘I am proportional, and I’m very lucky for that.’
He dresses in a sophisticated and classic fashion, which is part of his brand, and shops in the Harrods luxury store boy’s section. Deep states that organizations that support little people are not his ‘cup of tea,’ and he does not involve himself in them. He doesn’t even consider himself a little person, stating that ‘Whether you’re a dwarf or a midget, it’s all a type of branding.’
Debut and Early Career
Deep’s first work on stage was in “Miracle Worker” by Ray Cooney at the Palace Theatre in Westcliff Beach, in April of 1970.
His first on-screen portrayal was the character Klokoe in an episode of “The New Avengers” entitled “Target!” aired in 1976, and Deep’s film debut was in “The Pink Panther Strikes Again,” released in the same year. Another one of his early roles was as the villain Mr.Sin in “The Talons of Weng-Chiang” episode of the popular series “Doctor Who”. He then played the character Decima in multiple episodes of “Blake’s 7”, and another iconic character, although uncredited, was the beloved Yoda in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980; he can be spotted in behind-the-scenes images of the film shooting in costume as the Jedi Master.
Breakout and Success
Deep continued his career enthusiastically, gaining more popularity among fans. He played multiple roles in “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes” as well as the remake entitled “Planet of the Apes” by director Tim Burton that was released in 2001. The actor enjoys working with Tim Burton and has portrayed characters in multiple of his films, including “Big Fish” and “Corpse Bride.”
He’s played many other characters both on TV and in films and has extensive filmography, of close to 100 appearances, including in “The X-Files,” “Return to Oz,” and “Flash Gordon.”
Deep came back on screen as an Egyptian border guard in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” in 2009, and in the same year, portrayed Scotty’s assistant Keenser in “Star Trek,” reprising this role in the sequels “Star Trek Beyond” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
His most iconic speaking role was the criminal Aaron in HBO’s comedy series “Eastbound & Down.” He also portrayed the main character Sandeep Majumdar in the short film “The Ballad of Sandeep”, for which role he won multiple awards, including Best Actor in the Colorado Film Festival of 2011, and the Sunset International Film Festival in 2012.
Another one of his main character roles was in the short “God Came ‘round,” released in 2017, winning Best Actor at the Global Film Festival Awards, Independent Shorts Awards, LA Shorts Awards, London Independent Film Awards, Mindfield Film Festival Albuquerque, NYC Indie Film Awards, Top Shorts Film Festival, and Virgin Spring Cinefest all in 2018. If his portrayals on-screen aren’t enough to prove that Deep is a very talented actor, this impressive range of awards is sure to do just that.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
One of his most impressive and well-known roles was in the 2005 release of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
He portrayed an Oompa-Loompa, but in fact played as all 165 of them in the film, so even though it was one character, he acted differently 165 times, for which he undertook many months of training in a variety of activities, including dance, yoga, and playing musical instruments. His portrayal of these funny creatures is loved by everyone even today, many years post the release of the film. It seems that he owns the particular costume he wore for the movie, although it is unclear whether it is the authentic one from the set, or just a remake he ordered for the nostalgia.
Deep hasn’t appeared in any recent films and most probably is taking a break, or retired from acting. He resides in Santa Monica, and regularly uploads images on his Instagram account, planning the release of his own chocolate line, traveling to food shows, as well as various fun projects.
He also reposts clips from his portrayal of the Oompa Loompas, and this seems to be the favorite role of his. Deep is also available on Cameo, a platform where fans can order videos of the actor with customized messages for birthdays and other events.
In terms of love and relationships, Deep remains a highly private person. Most fans speculate that he is married to a woman, yet her identity remains a mystery to everyone. He doesn’t have any children but seems to be enjoying his life to the fullest.
Not much is known about Deep’s assets and salary, but some credible sources estimate his net worth to be over $2 million, all made from his amazing portrayals of characters in a variety of films and TV shows. He may return to acting sometime soon, so this number is in no way final.