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Ian Michael Smith

Personal information
Birth dateMay 5, 1987(age 29)
Place of birthElmhurst, Illinois, USA

     Home | American actors | Ian Michael Smith

Ian Michael Smith (born May 5, 1987) is an American actor, known for his starring role in Simon Birch. His short physical stature (3'1") is a result of Morquio syndrome, a rare enzymatic disorder affecting the circulatory, muscular and skeletal systems.

A hospital worker at the best hospital in the Chicago area had approached the parents of young Ian Smith about his auditioning for the leading role in a soon-to-be-filmed motion picture. Like Smith, the film's hero is afflicted with Morquio Syndrome. The Smiths were concerned about exploitation but after reading the novel on which the film was based agreed to allow their son to audition. Although he eventually lost out on that role (the film was The Mighty and Kieran Culkin landed the part), Smith was recommended for another role in a film based on a novel. This time, his audition tape won over the director and the novice was hired to essay the title role of Simon Birch (1998), suggested by John Irving's "A Prayer for Owen Meany". Because of his height, Smith was the perfect choice to play Simon, described as having been so small when he was born his mother didn't even notice the delivery. The novice actor proved a natural before the cameras and impressed some reviewers who found the film itself treacly and sentimental.

Ian is a 2005 graduate of York Community High School, located in Elmhurst, Illinois.

Ian has undergone several operations including a spinal fusion and two bilateral osteotomies. He also has a brother, Brian. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009 and is now a graduate student at Gallaudet University.

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