He was known to millions as Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, but to those who knew him in "The Riv," he was just Hank.

Henry Joseph Nasiff Jr., known professionally as Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, was born on April 20, 1962, in Fall River, Massachusetts. A week after his birth, he was diagnosed with achondroplasia dwarfism. Achondroplasia is a genetic disorder and the most common cause of dwarfism. It affects about 1 in every 27,500 people.

Hank, who grew to a height of 4'1", drank heavily to deal with the anger he felt about his condition and the hand life dealt him, and was open about those struggles. His moniker was more than just a stage name.

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Hank's dwarfism had a profound impact on his life and limited his options, but it didn't stop him. He appeared on stage, in movies and on television.

Hank's big break came on August 16, 1996, when he met "The King of All Media," Howard Stern. Legend has it that Hank, appearing in a Boston dinner theater production of Finnegan's Wake, decided to travel to New York City after a performance one night to meet Stern.

Fall River's Hank The Angry Drunken Dwarf And Howard Stern
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Upon arriving at the studio in the morning, Stern's producer Gary Dell' Abate reportedly recalled, "There was a dwarf standing there, and I remember he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and one of those Hawaiian leis."

Dell' Abate said, "He had a vodka bottle in his hand ... and he was drunk beyond belief."

The producer said Stern told him to "bring him in immediately."

Hank appeared on Stern's program on numerous occasions, commuting to New York from Massachusetts by bus. Hank, who became a member of Stern's "Wack Pack," was a rock 'n' roll expert and demonstrated deep knowledge about a variety of topics in on-air discussions.

Fall River's Hank The Angry Drunken Dwarf And Howard Stern
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Hank died in his sleep at the Fall River home he shared with his parents on September 4, 2001. It was reported that Hank's death was related to complications from alcoholism. He was 39. Stern staffers attended his memorial services on the SouthCoast. Hank is buried at Notre Dame Cemetery in Fall River.

The New York Post quoted Stern after Hank's death: "People always asked me all the time if we tried to get him to stop drinking, and I said all the time we did, but you couldn't.

"I understood why he drank. If I was a dwarf and I had everyone goofing on me all the time, I would have been a drunk."

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