Villechaize was known for his many movie and television roles including that of the evil henchman Nick Nack in the James Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), as well as Mr. Roarke's assistant, Tattoo, on the television series Fantasy Island (1978–1984). He starred in the movie Forbidden Zone (1980), and appeared in Airplane II: The Sequel (1982), and episodes of Diff'rent Strokes and Taxi.
Villechaize was of French/European descent. He suffered from proportionate dwarfism. In later years, he insisted on being called a "midget" rather than a "dwarf". His height was 3 feet and 10 inches. In 1964 he left France for the United States.
Villechaize was married to Anne Sadowski from 1970 until they divorced in 1979. From 1980 through 1982, he was married to Camille Hagen. Until his death in 1993, he was partners with Kathy Self.
In the early morning hours of 4 September 1993, Villechaize is believed to have first fired a shot through the sliding glass patio door in order to awaken his longtime girlfriend, Kathy Self, before shooting himself at his North Hollywood home. He was 50 years old. Villechaize left a suicide note saying he was suffering over longtime health problems. Villechaize was suffering from chronic pain due to having normal-sized internal organs putting increasing pressure on his small body. According to Self, Villechaize often slept in a kneeling position so he could breathe more easily.
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- Wilkins, Frank. "The Suicide of Herve Villechaize - Tattoo". Reel Reviews. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "Herve Villechaize; Actor, 50, Commits Suicide at His Home". The New York Times. September 5, 1993