Sandie Church (September 9, 1961 - December 27, 1993) was a comedian and actress who appeared in TV’s Cast a Deadly Spell and Comic Strip Live. She died on December 27, 1993, due to AIDS complications.
In February 1992 she was featured in a New York Times article: "Comedian Sandie Church has played to standing-room-only crowds on both coasts and a few places in between. Barely 4 feet tall and wearing size one-half shoes, she tells audiences she is "sick and tired of being overlooked by men" and that she doesn't intend to let herself "be tossed around by them anymore." As the spotlight beams an extra 18 inches lower than usual to frame her face and platinum cap of hair, Church's audiences are quickly distracted from her "special difference" as her unique humor takes command. She always starts off with a few "short" jokes and then advances to more general material. "I fell asleep on a plane once and when I awoke I said I was sleepy. The guy next to me said, 'I wondered which one of them you were.' " Church is a dwarf, or as she prefers to think of herself, a "microgoddess." Though she is able to make light of the subject, dwarfism is no laughing matter. It is a genetic condition that affects the skeletal system during fetal development and stunts the growth of the arms and legs, making them disproportionate to a normal-size head and torso. Church has endured seven painful operations on her legs and feet to correct clubbed feet. She also suffers from osteoarthritis and has a limited range of motion in her arms, as well as bad knees and the burden of having to shift her weight from side to side just to walk. "Actually, I have fewer physical problems than most dwarves," she says. "Some nightclub bookers won't hire me because they claim it would be too difficult for me to get up on the stage. Once I'm up there, I have to lean on the mike stand for support in order to complete my set. "If I try to perform sitting down, I lose the energy level." Still, the show goes on for Church, who has appeared at the Improv and Catch A Rising Star comedy clubs in New York, as well as at numerous clubs in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the country. She also has performed on television on "The Comic Strip Live" (Fox), "Evening at the Improv" (A&E) and "The Jenny Jones Show." as well as in a number of' movies, including "The Night They Saved Christmas" (1984). She finds live performances the most rewarding. "After one show, a young woman came up and told me she had been depressed and near suicide," Church says. "She said she learned from me that it's all in your perception. "She told me she admired my 'bright, positive attitude.' That has meant more to me than anything." Church is the youngest of four children, "all normal-sized and (including) one giant of a brother, (who is) 5-foot-8." Her parents are short (they are both 5 feet tall) but not dwarfk. Her father, Kenny Church, also capitalized on his small stature and went on to become a world-famous jockey whose home turf was the Santa Anita racetrack in Los Angeles, where Sandie grew up. "As a child I was never treated differently," Church says. "I played with other kids and rode horses. My mother learned from me how I wanted to be treated and just acted accordingly."
In June 1992 she was on the cast of "The Women" a 1936 two-act drama by Clare Boothe Luce, produced by San Diego Repertory Theater. Director, Anne Bogart; musical director and arrangements, Michael Roth. Variety wrote: "One undeniable plus for this production is that it provides a cornucopia of good roles for women. Sixteen of them get to play 42 characters, and all–a multicultural mix that includes elfin adult Sandie Church as Mary’s child–fit well in Bogart’s mosaic." Los Angeles Times wrote "Bogart's boldest bit of casting is Sandie Church".
A memorial service was held on February 23, 1993, at the Improvisation, 8162 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood.
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