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‘American Horror Story’ Actor, SBCC Graduate Ben Woolf Dies from Head Injury

Ben Woolf, a graduate of Santa Barbara City College who gained fame as an actor on the American Horror Story TV series, died this week from head injuries suffered in an accident near Los Angeles.

Ben Woolf (American Horror Story Facebook photo)

Woolf, 34, died Monday while recovering from being struck by a car while crossing a street in Hollywood last week, according to news reports and IMDB.

He was remembered Tuesday by former colleagues at the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County, where he worked for seven years as a preschool teacher at Goleta Head Start after graduating from SBCC’s early childhood education program in 2003.

Woolf had since moved to Los Angeles, where he played Meep on American Horror Story: Freak Show and was also a preschool teacher.

The CAC posted a message about Woolf’s passing on its Facebook page.

“We are very saddened to hear about the passing away of Ben Woolf today,” the organization wrote late Monday. “He was recently honored in Moscow for his acting and unfortunately was involved in a car accident in Los Angeles. We send our condolences to his family and friends.”

Woolf, who was 4-foot-4, was diagnosed at a young age with pituitary dwarfism, a diagnosis he called a “challenge” during a recent video interview about his role on the popular FX network show.

In the video, Woolf said he enjoyed being a preschool teacher because kids were fun, while adults sometimes didn’t treat him as a peer.

“I love it because when you’re with children, you kind of live in a different world that doesn’t have any rules,” he said. “It’s more imagination.”

Woolf was beloved by his Head Start co-workers, who recruited him out of SBCC and were sad to see him leave in September 2010, CAC Executive Director Fran Forman said.

She said the last anyone had heard about Woolf was earlier this month, when he was honored for his acting in Moscow, Russia.

“He was a wonderful and loving teacher,” Forman told Noozhawk. “I knew he was a nice, warm, loving teacher who loved the kids, and the kids loved him. I know that he was a very loved person.

“I think he’s so not a ‘horror’ person; he’s a very kind person. I really felt good that he was in our classroom. He had just gotten his break, so that’s why it’s so sad.”

A memorial service is reportedly planned for somewhere in Santa Barbara in coming weeks, but no details were available Tuesday.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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