‘World’s shortest stuntman’ Kiran Shah: MBE is testament to my perseverance

Professional stuntman Kiran Shah has said being made an MBE is “a testament” to his perseverance in spite of the obstacles he has faced.

Shah, 67, who has performed stunts in the Star Wars series and The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, is made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the King’s Birthday Honours for his services to the film industry.

Shah told the PA news agency: “I am incredibly honoured and grateful to receive this award.

Xi Shun, 7ft 8.59in, with Kiran Shah, who is the shortest professional stuntman in the world
Xi Shun, 7ft 8.59in, meets Kiran Shah, who at 4ft 1.7in is the shortest professional stuntman in the world (Andrew Parsons/PA)

“I feel humbled by the recognition of my hard work and dedication to my craft.

“This accolade is a testament to my perseverance and passion for my work, despite any obstacles I have faced.

“I see this award not just as a personal achievement, but also as an acknowledgment of the support and inspiration I have received from my colleagues and mentors throughout my career.

“I am excited to continue pushing the boundaries and contributing to the film industry in meaningful ways.”

Shah was born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1956 with a growth hormone deficiency which meant that he stopped growing at the age of 15 when he was 4ft 1in tall.

His family relocated to India when he was 12 and later moved to England, where he had growth check-ups at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Before his career in film, Shah was recruited to a Japanese kabuki theatre in 1973, where he performed mime.

In 1976 he began working on his first film, Disney movie Candleshoe (1977), as a stand-in for one of the characters.

Since then he has worked on more than 100 films and was a scale and stunt double for some of the hobbits in Peter Jackson’s fantasy trilogy series.

His stunts include jumping 40ft off the deck of the boat in James Cameron’s 1998 film Titanic, and performing as a flying double for Christopher Reeve in the 1978 movie Superman.

Shah is also known for his creature work on fantasy films such as The Dark Crystal (1982) and has played multiple roles in the Star Wars series.

He acted opposite Tom Cruise in Sir Ridley Scott’s Legend (1985) and played Ginarrbrik, the servant of Tilda Swinton’s White Witch in The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (2005).

In 2003 Guinness World Records named Shah the shortest professional stuntman currently working in films and in 2010 he was named the shortest person to wing walk.

Shah was strapped to a 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane for 10 minutes which flew 1,000ft in the air.