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Matthew James Roloff (born October 7, 1961) is an actor, author, farmer, trebuchet builder, and businessman, best known for participating with his family in the reality television program Little People, Big World seen on TLC. The show features the Roloffs' daily life. Roloff has dwarfism, as does his wife Amy and one of their four children, Zachary.

Family

The Roloff family includes Matt, who was born with diastrophic dysplasia, his wife Amy, also a little person with achondroplasia, and four children: fraternal twins Jeremy and Zachary (born 1990), Molly (born 1993), and Jacob (born 1997). Zach, like his mother, has achondroplasia, while the other three children are average height. Matt and Amy met at a Little People of America convention in 1987. The couple were engaged very quickly and were married on September 12, 1987.

Matt's parents, Ron and Peggy, also are featured in the show. They are of average height as is his older sister, Ruth. His younger brother Sam Sam Roloff.com (The Artist and founder of Back-Story Underpainting) has diastrophic dysplasia and uses crutches to walk as well. His middle brother Joshua was born with a severe heart malformation. Joshua died in 1999 at age 34.

Career

Matt appeared as an Ewok in the Star Wars TV movie Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. Today, he is still well-known around the Hollywood scene because he is good friends with fellow little person and actor Martin Klebba, who appeared in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise and is also a member of a leading athletic club for little people, the LA Breakers. The Breakers however, lost to the Grasshogs (Matt's son Zach's team), while Matt was on the sideline admiring his son's soccer progress.

Matt worked as a computer programmer for Silicon Valleymarker companies such as Altos Computer Systems in the late 1980s. A friend encouraged him to take a job with Sequent Computer Systems, which was headquartered in Beaverton, Oregonmarker, in order to escape the long work hours and stress of Silicon Valleymarker. Matt and his wife Amy relocated to the Portland area in 1990, while she was still pregnant with twins Jeremy and Zachary.

Matt has embarked on a number of business ventures in an effort to try to make a living from his investment in the farm. On Little People, Big World, he is shown running the business he co-founded, Direct Access Solutions, a company that provides accessibility products for little people to the hospitality industry.

At the end of the first season of Little People, Big World, Roloff again took a job in computer sales for the software company Amdocs, for which he still works as a consultant. The family's farm outside Portland, Oregonmarker also serves the Roloffs as a business venture. It includes a farm, an Old West town, a pirate ship and other attractions, some of which are open to the public during pumpkin season in October.

In 1999, with the help of a ghostwriter, Roloff authored the book Against Tall Odds: Being a David in a Goliath World.

Little People, Big World was renewed for a second, third, fourth and now fifth season. Episodes began airing on October 7, 2006. In this season Matt arranged for cleanup crews, a new grill, a new deck for the new addition, a trip to Hawaii (3 episodes) and trips to Milwaukee.

In April 2007 a second book, "Little Family, Big Values: Lessons in Love, Respect, and Understanding for Families of Any Size" was released. According to the family's official website it was written by Matt. However, Amazon.com credits The Roloff Family and Tracy Summer, the same ghostwriter that helped with Matt's first book.

In 2008, Roloff traveled to Iraqmarker to assist an Iraqi family with three dwarf children who needed medical attention. His trip was the subject of the season-ending episodes of the fourth season of Little People, Big World, and it was covered by CNN and other national news outlets. The entire family appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2008.

Matt and Amy frequently work as motivational speakers. Matt appeared at a public event in Saratoga, Californiamarker on February 12, 2009, taking questions from the audience.

Legal issues

In 2003, Roloff agreed to enter an alcohol treatment program after being charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants. The arrest stemmed from an incident in which an intoxicated Roloff swerved his vehicle off the road and into a ditch, causing the car to roll; according to Roloff, the crash was severe enough that it almost killed his passenger. Upon his completion of the program, the charges were dropped. After completing the program, Roloff stayed sober for two years.

On June 19, 2007, Roloff was pulled over by Washington County Sheriff's Deputy Allen Pastori after making a wide turn out of a parking lot of a bar. Roloff claimed that he had difficulty controlling the SUV because it was fitted with smaller pedal and brake extensions for his wife. Pastori claimed that Roloff smelled of alcohol and failed a sobriety test. Roloff admitted to drinking one beer earlier in the day. He was arrested and charged with DUI. He pleaded not guilty. The two-day trial began on January 8, 2008 and was covered by a large number of reporters. After determining that members of the jury had improperly researched legal questions on the Internet, Roloff and his attorney asked the judge to render a verdict, rather than face the stress of a new trial. Judge Donald LeTourneau acquitted Roloff on the principal DUI charge, saying that field sobriety tests are not accurate enough to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. However, Roloff was convicted on related civil infractions for improper lane use and refusal to take a breathalyzer, which under Oregon law results in a three year suspension of his drivers license. The trial was the subject of the season opener of Little People, Big World on March 3, 2008 and its conclusion on March 10, 2008.

References

  • Roloff, Matt & Tracy Summer (1999). Against Tall Odds: Being a David in a Goliath World. Multnomah Publishing. ISBN 1-57673-583-4.
  • Roloff, Matt & Tracy Summer (2007). Little Family, Big Values: Lessons in Love, Respect, and Understanding for Families of Any Size. Fireside. ISBN 1-41654-910-2


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