In January 2010, Little became a United States citizen and was sworn in, with a suggestion from the judge to do it as John Wayne! His wife at the time, Marie, passed away that year. In her honor, Little created the Marie and Rich Little Foundation, which focuses on helping children, the homeless and animals in need.
Little is still currently preparing to release his latest project, Little by Little a self-written, humorous show about his life, featuring over 30 characters. A book of the same title ( Celebrities I’ve Known and Been).
Up until now, a little known fact about Little is his other talent as an artist. He started sketching when he was young, drawing his family and friends. To date, he has drawn more than 100 pictures of all the celebrities and politicians he imitates, and displays several of these life-like charcoal sketches in his shows.
”How did I become an impersonator? Perhaps my mother was conceived by a Xerox machine!” says Little.
So, how did a kid from Ottawa, Canada, growing up in the ’50s become an impressionist? No one in our family had ever been in show business. No one ever had show biz yearnings. His father was a doctor. His mother was a housewife. So where did the desire to become an impressionist come from? Although, often asked this question, he can only offer an early love of the movies. “As a boy, I would go every weekend, sometimes staying to see the show twice. Just going to the movies and getting so involved in the story-telling and the characters made me want to be that person up on the screen, never dreaming that I could turn it into a career,” remarks Little.
The glory days of Hollywood and their icons, like no other, have remained as indelible images in our hearts and minds for decades. He, like many, idolized these giants of the screen and comedy, but was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet, work with, and get to know many of them along the way during my career. From the genius of Jack Benny, the unmatched humor of George Burns, the debonair, handsome Cary Grant, the unforgettable John Wayne, the king of late night hosts Johnny Carson, and the former actor-turned-President Ronald Reagan to President Obama and preparing for Trump … just in case.
In this gem of a new book are insights into the likes of many of these great people he has had the privilege and fortune to meet and imitate, to shine a new light on our beloved stars. “This is really not a biography,” says Little, “but more of a humorous glimpse of the people I’ve impersonated and some of the funny stories that happened along the way.”