Ben Woolf, a former teacher who took up acting and found success on the television show “American Horror Story,” died on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 34.
The cause was a stroke related to injuries he suffered when he was struck by a car in Hollywood, his publicist said.
Mr. Woolf, who was 4 feet 4 inches tall, was hit in the head by a side-view mirror of a passing car around 9 p.m. on Thursday, said Sara Faden, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department. The driver remained at the scene, and the police were treating the incident as “a tragic accident,” she said.
Benjamin Eric Woolf was born on Sept. 15, 1980, in Fort Collins, Colo., and grew up in Fairfield, Iowa. His family learned he had pituitary dwarfism when he was a child. He moved to California in 2010 to pursue a career in entertainment.
Mr. Woolf worked for two seasons on “American Horror Story.” An Emmy-nominated series on FX, it features an ensemble cast and new characters and a new story line each season. Settings have included a haunted house, a 1960s mental hospital plagued by demons and extraterrestrials, a coven of witches, and a 1950s carnival freak show.
In the first season Mr. Woolf played the Infantata, the murderous ghost of a baby-turned-Frankenstein monster by his grieving parents. In the recently concluded fourth season he played Meep, a sideshow performer with a one-word vocabulary and a penchant for biting the heads off live animals.
In a Twitter post as news of the death spread, Ryan Murphy, a co-creator of “American Horror Story,” called Mr. Woolf “one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met.”
Mr. Woolf reflected on the difficulties of life with dwarfism in a video interview released by “American Horror Story” in January. In it, he said that people sometimes “don’t give me the value that I deserve,” but that he had learned to “ignore it and do what I can do to the best of my ability.”
His publicist, Zack Teperman, said that Mr. Woolf was survived by his father, Nicholas Woolf; his mother, Marcy Luikart; his stepmother, Sarajane Woolf; his stepfather, Ralph Luikart; his sister, Kathryn Woolf; and his stepsister, Heather Luikart.
Mr. Woolf had been a preschool teacher before deciding to pursue acting full time, Mr. Teperman said.
In the video interview, Mr. Woolf said he had loved teaching “because when you’re with children, you kind of live in a different world that doesn’t have any rules.”
He added, “It’s more imagination.”