He wasn’t seen. He wasn’t even heard. But Michu Meszaros played one of the most iconic characters of the 1980s. Meszaros, the man who dressed up as ALF on the TV sitcom, has passed away. He was 76.

TMZ is reporting that Meszaros, who stood all of 33 inches tall, died in a Los Angeles hospital just a week after slipping into a coma. He had been unresponsive ever since.

Meszaros was born in Hungary in 1939 to parents who were both less than four feet tall. He began his life in the carnivals while in his teens, and during the 1970s, he joined the famed Ringling Bros. circus.

In a 1982 interview with People magazine, Ringling Bros owner Irvin Feld said of Meszaros, “Michu is a marvelous tiny creature… He is a handsome, perfectly formed man — not a dwarf, not a midget, not a freak.”

While on ALF, Meszaros donned the costume of the smart-talking alien for full-body shots. ALF was typically shown only above the waist, in which case he was a puppet. As for the voice of ALF, that was done by the show’s creator, Paul Fusco.

In addition to his work on ALF, Meszaros also was featured in Big Top Pee-wee and Dear John

David Eckstein is a writer living in Los Angeles.