It was one year ago this week that Josh Ryan Evans
, Passions) passed away. Evans died on Monday, August 5, 2002 at a San Diego hospital due to complications from a preexisting heart condition. The actor was 20.
Evans' was stricken by achondroplasia, a genetic disorder that restricts cartilage growth and physical development. Evans, however, refused to see the disorder as a hindrance.
The 3-foot-2-inch Hayward, California native won legions of fans during his all-too-short career. At age 12, Josh had his own business cards printed and hired an agent - all without his parents' knowledge. As a result of his determination, Evans landed a part in a nationally run ice cream commercial.
From there, Evans' career hit the fast track. Evans was introduced to television guru David E. Kelley, who cast Evans in the recurring guest role as Oren Koolie on Ally McBeal. Evans appeared as a young Grinch in the smash motion picture hit "Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas."
"I always knew I wanted to be a character in the movies," Evans once said. "When I was growing up, I had to have a lot of surgery, and I spent a lot of time recovering at home and in the hospital. Watching movies took me away from my own problems and gave me a total escape."
In March 2000, Evans made history by becoming the first performer from Passions to receive a Daytime Emmy nomination. Evans nomination as Outstanding Younger Actor remains the show's only acting nomination to date.
Visitors to the Soap Opera Central web site have rewarded Evans' work as Timmy with two Soap Opera Central Awards. In 2001, Evans was named Outstanding Younger Performer. Earlier this year, Evans picked up an Outstanding Supporting Actor trophy.
Evans also earned two consecutive Soap Opera Digest Awards as Outstanding Male Scene Stealer.
In an eerie almost macabre twist of fate, Evans death came on the eve of the airing of an episode in which his Passions character dies. Following the character's death, Timmy's heart is donated to help save the life of another character. Evans was to have begun a nearly two-month-long sabbatical from Passions. It is unclear at this time how the show will address Evans' death.
Evans is survived by his mother and father, Cheryl and Chuck Evans, and a brother James L. Evans.