American Horror Story actor Ben Woolf died Monday from injuries sustained when he was hit by a car on February 19. But according to CBS Los Angeles, what was one family’s tragedy has turned into a life saving blessing for three other families. The 34-year-old actor, who played “Meep” on American Horror Story — Freak Show, has now saved three lives through organ donations.
OneLegacy, a non-profit eye, organ, and tissue recovery agency, revealed that three California women received Woolf’s liver and two kidneys, according to NBC News. Woolf had signed on with the Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry in 2007, and OneLegacy lauded Woolf for his decision to help out others in the event of death or devastating injury without the hope of recovery.
“OneLegacy is extremely grateful for Ben Woolf’s generosity. OneLegacy’s Donor Family Aftercare Department will support his family in their journey of grief and healing through donor family events and support groups, among others.”
The tiny, 4’4″ actor played freak show geek Meep on American Horror Story, and his character earned his name because the only word he said during the show was “meep,” as he paraded around the carnival camp in feathered costumes. Yet Woolf translated his limited dialogue into a range of emotions that left fans sympathizing with this simple character despite his rather ghoulish freak show skills. (If you aren’t familiar with traditional carnival geeks, they bite the heads off chickens.)
Woolf explained the appeal of his character to American Horror Story fans in a promotional video by FX.
“When I play Meep, I like people just to feel happy and realize that even though he doesn’t say a lot, that he’s saying a lot in that one word.”
Woolf was diagnosed with pituitary dwarfism during childhood, and underwent chemotherapy as part of his treatment, causing his bones to stop growing at an early age. But what Woolf lacked in size, he made up for in heart, according to his father, Nicholas Woolf, in a statement released by OneLegacy.
“Ben was the kindest, most thoughtful, gentle, sweetly innocent person I ever knew. He always wanted to be an actor, and when he was 30 he ran off to L.A. and accomplished more than our wildest imaginations. Without meaning to, Ben taught people so much — he inspired and generated love with everyone. Signing up to be an organ donor was absolutely fitting with his character. He would be very glad to know that three people are alive because of what he could give.”
When he wasn’t acting, Woolf worked as a pre-school teacher, which he said he loved because working with children was like being in another world where you didn’t have any rules. But Ben Woolf embraced his uniqueness and that quality in others, making American Horror Story — Freak Show the perfect swan song of his acting career.
“We’re all freaks in our own way. If there were not freaks, we’d all be normal.”
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]