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Monday, November 26, 2007


Filipino cult midget known for his character as “Agent 00″ in ’80s films. Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as “Shortest Adult Actor in a Leading Role” at 2’9”/0.83 m.

Weng Weng was born Ernesto de la Cruz, the youngest of five brothers, on 7th September 1957 in Balacaran, a district of Pasay City (now part of the sprawling 17-city Metro Manila). A condition known as primordial dwarfism caused him to be born, in the words of his brother Celing, "no bigger than a coke bottle", and he spent the first 12 months of his life in an incubator. He was not expected to live.

A cheerfully mischievous child, his family nicknamed him Weng Weng, an epithet usually reserved for toy dogs. He was obsessed with martial arts and trained almost daily, until his instructor contacted film producer Peter Caballes and said, "You just have to see THIS."

Peter Caballes then introduced Weng Weng to the King of Philippines Comedy, Dolphy, who cast him as his kung-fu kicking sidekick in his spy caper The Quick Brown Fox (1980).

Weng Weng, meanwhile, was a frequent visitor of the Marcos family at the Presidential Palace, where he was made an honorary Secret Agent by future President General Ramos, and was presented with a badge and a 25-callibre pistol. This act may have been the direct inspiration for Weng Weng's first starring role as Agent OO in the James Bond parody For Y'ur Height Only, produced by Peter and written by Cora Caballes for their company Liliw Productions. Eddie Nicart, renowned stunt director for the SOS Daredevils, trained Weng Weng every day for three months to be a professional stuntman, and was given his first opportunity to direct.

Weng Weng became an instant superstar, appearing on TV and at parties, film festivals, movie openings. Liliw Productions quickly cranked out a much less successful Agent OO sequel, The Impossible Kid (1982), and a modern Pinoy western D'Wild Wild Weng (1982), starring Weng Weng as a government agent known as "Mr Weng", which doesn't appear to have made it beyond the Philippines borders. There may be other Weng Weng film appearances, including a starring role in Agent OO (c.1981) and a guest cameo alongside the stick-thin Palito's character "James Bone", but even in the Philippines information is sketchy at best, if not non-existent.
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Sila... Sa Bawa't Bangketa (1976)

Chop Suey Met Big Time Papa (1978)

The Quick Brown Fox (1980)
Stariray (1981)

Agent 00 (1981)

For Y'ur Height Only (1981)

D' Wild Wild Weng (1982)
Impossible Kid (1982)

The Cute... The Sexy N' the Tiny (1982)

Da Best in Da West (1984)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I finally found on the Net something about the late Weng Weng. My wife and I were just talking about him last night during dinner. I have to admit I haven't seen any movie of him. And so I am interested in seeing one. Are there DVD editions of his movies? Are VHS copies still available for sale.


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