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Eerie coincidence on day actor who played The Grinch as a child died

Eerie coincidence on day actor who played The Grinch as a child died

Josh Ryan Evans died just two years after the Christmas flick was released

With Santa's arrival fast approaching and department stores already playing Mariah Carey on repeat, it's time to curl up on the couch with a festive flick.

But a coincidence concerning the death of an actor from How the Grinch Stole Christmas is more creepy than Christmassy.

Josh Ryan Evans rose to fame when he starred as the young version of Jim Carrey's Grinch in the 2000 film.

However, just two years later, the 3ft 2 actor tragically died aged 20.

Josh was born with a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia and also had heart problems that resulted in him needing multiple surgeries as a child.

While recovering from the operations, he spent much of his time watching TV and films and was inspired to pursue acting, getting into showbiz aged just 12 years old.

Josh Ryan Evans starred as the young Grinch in the 2000 film How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Universal Pictures

After working on a number of projects throughout the 90s, including adverts, appearances in TV shows such as Ally McBeal and voice work for Nickelodeon, Josh was cast as the young Grinch in the iconic How the Grinch Stole Christmas alongside Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen and Christine Baranski.

The role was intense — Josh had to spend five and a half hours in the makeup chair each day to transform into the character — but he really enjoyed it and got on well with the film's director Ron Howard.

According to the director, the role was originally planned as a small walk-on part as a class misfit, but he changed his mind as soon as he met the actor.

"Evans generated a lot of heart for the story," he said.

Josh died just two years after the iconic Christmas film was released due to complications related to his heart condition.
Jean-Paul Aussenard/Getty

The following year, Josh was cast as living doll, Timmy Lenox in the NBC soap opera Passions, a role for which he won multiple awards including a Hollywood Reporters' YoungStar Award for 'Best Young Actor in a Daytime TV Series.'

However, just as he was reaching stardom in 2002, he passed away suddenly from complications related to his heart condition during a medical procedure.

And, in a rather eerie coincidence, on the day that Josh died, NBC aired an episode of Passions where his character also passed away.

The episode has been taped weeks in advance and his character was originally due to return later in the series, but following his death, those plans were scrapped and the episode was dedicated to his memory.

"We are deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of Josh Ryan Evans," NBC said at the time. "He was a truly unique talent with a remarkable spirit.

"He will be sorely missed by his Passions family and by all of us at NBC."

Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures/Jean-Paul Aussenard/Getty

Topics: Christmas, TV and Film