Who is Matt Roloff?
Born in California in October 1961, Matt Roloff is an author, motivational speaker, farmer and TV personality, known for his years-long starring role in “Little People, Big World”. The West Coast native was born with diastrophic dysplasia, a degenerative dwarfism condition which caused him to need over a dozen operations as a child. As a consequence, he would spend months at a time in various hospitals and didn’t get to enjoy his formative years.
Not much is known about Ron and Peggy Roloff, Matt’s parents, although they can often be seen in “Little People, Big World”. Both are as of average height, as is their firstborn child, Ruth. However, Matt’s younger brother Sam was also born with diastrophic dysplasia and can’t walk without crutches, whereas the middleborn son, Joshua, died in 1999 after a decades-long fight against the severe heart malformation he was born with.
Matt and his wife Amy’s paths first crossed at a Little People of America convention held in 1987. Months later, they had become engaged and married. They bought Roloff Farm, a stunning property that encompasses 34 acres, in 1990. Matt devoted thousands of dollars and years of his time to the farmhouse and turned it into the spectacular place it is today, complete with a tree-story treehouse, medieval castle, regulation soccer field, and more.
Roloff Farm, which is visited by over 30,000 people a year from all parts of the US, is a secondary income stream for the family thanks to its lucrative pumpkin season. Matt’s children and grandchildren have all enjoyed the family home; in 2010, the author expanded his property portfolio via the acquisition of an 80-acre property next to the farmhouse.
Matt is a multifaceted person who worked in the entertainment industry and in Silicon Valley prior to becoming a household name. After appearing as an extra in “Under the Rainbow”, he played one of the many Ewoks in the TV movie “Ewoks: The Battle for Endor”. Matt is good friends with the actor Martin Klebba, who was born with dwarfism and is known for his work in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies; Martin is believed to have helped Matt get a leg up in the world of acting.
The reality star has also had a decent career in the tech industry and worked as a computer programmer for important Silicon Valley companies in the late 1980s. Matt held a position at Altos Computer Systems for several years and also provided Fortune 500 companies with systems software. However, a close friend soon recommended that he relocate to Oregon to work for Sequent Computer Systems as a way to counter Silicon Valley’s stressful pace and zero work-life balance.
And so, Matt and Amy moved to Portland in 1990 during her first pregnancy; they soon purchased Roloff Farm and began laying the foundations for their new life together. As of 2022, Matt is the co-owner of Direct Access Solutions, which sells the hospitality industry accessibility products aimed at little people.
In March 2014, Matt and Amy left their fans stunned with the announcement of their separation. The divorce announcement came in June 2015 and the proceedings were finalized almost a year later; with that said, Matt and Amy are believed to still be on good terms and have put their differences aside for the sake of their family.
Amy Jo Roloff was born in Michigan in September 1962 and is a motivational speaker, baker, author, and proud mother of four. With her dazzling smile and vibrant wit, Amy has won over thousands of loyal fans. Her parents, Gordon and Patricia Knight, had three other children named Katherine, Roger, and Cyndi. Gordon was a Ford Motor Company employee, whereas his wife was a stay-at-home mother.
Amy, who was born with achondroplasia, matriculated from Franklin High School and pursued a business degree at Central Michigan University. Despite being a total stranger to the world of TV before filming for “Little People, Big World”, Amy proved herself to be a natural in front of cameras and has since made cameos in “Celebrity Chopped”, “Good Morning America”, “The View”, and other shows.
“Short and Simple Family Recipes” was Amy’s first foray into the world of literature. The family cookbook contained 75 original recipes and was published in 2012. Her other works, “Little People Big Values” and “A Little Me”, were also roaring successes. Amy opened her Little Kitchen, an online bakery, in 2016 and has since provided thousands of happy customers with seasonal baked goods and other sweet treats.
An altruistic soul, Amy has also used her public profile to shine light on many noble causes. In 2009, she founded the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation and helped thousands of disadvantaged youth and disabled people. Although the foundation closed in late 2021, Amy is a champion for low-income senior housing and homeless shelters and has worked with the Dwarf Athletic Association of America and other charities.
The exuberant blonde is also a compelling motivational speaker. She has given keynote speeches at a Lakes Health Conference, the Women’s Power Launch, the Dr. James Borland Convocational Series for Adrian College, an Empowering Women in Business Conference, and other high-profile events. On a regular basis, she participates in a business seminar for all ages named Get Motivated.
Matt and Amy have weathered many storms together, including a 2009 lawsuit which was filed by a female visitor to their farm who claimed that the famous couple had neglected safety procedures. After a legal tug-of-war that lasted almost half a decade, the case was settled out of court in 2013. During the divorce, Matt purchased Amy’s part of the farm and she relocated to a new and humbler abode in Oregon. The future of their joint company, Roloff Farms Salsa, remains uncertain.
In September 2019, Amy became engaged to her long-term boyfriend, Chris Marek. They married at Roloff Farm in summer 2021 in an intimate ceremony that was attended by the couple’s nearest and dearest. Not much is known about Chris for now, as he is content to let Amy enjoy the limelight.
“Little People, Big World”
For those unfamiliar with the TLC reality series that Amy, Matt, and their son Zach star in, “Little People, Big World” follows the Roloff family around and shows how they overcome obstacles despite their conditions. As Amy, Matt, and Zach are the only Roloffs with dwarfism, they became the protagonists of the series, which has been running for over 20 seasons and boasts almost 400 episodes. Some netizens will remember that TLC announced the cancellation of the show in August 2010.
The original show has spawned the spin-offs “Breaking Down the Walls”, “Welcome to the Jungle”, and “Conquering Mount St. Helens”. A spin-off series named “Little People, Big World: Wedding Farm” first aired in November 2012 and lasted a total of six episodes. The series saw Matt and Amy use the family farm for their short-lived wedding ceremony business.
The Roloffs will be back before you know it! Catch up with the family and see what everyone's been up to! >>> http://ow.ly/pSbgE
TLC first got in touch with the Roloffs in the early 2000s, as they were looking for a family with dwarfism to star in an original show that would educate viewers about the condition. Matt and Amy, who were severely underrepresented until then, eagerly agreed to the idea. As we mentioned before, their son Zach is the only second-generation Roloff to have been born with dwarfism; his siblings Zach, Molly, and Jacob are all of average height.
Playing sports, buying groceries, and sorting out the household finances is challenging enough for some people, let alone individuals with dwarfism. For this reason, “Little People, Big World” is almost entirely unscripted and doesn’t resort to stunts or scripted arguments like other shows in its genre. This has also helped make the series wildly popular.
The Younger Roloffs
Zach, who was born in May 1990, is the most famous second-generation Roloff and has garnered millions of social media followers thanks to his cheerful approach to life. He is the only Roloff child to remain on the series and has been in front of cameras since the tender age of 15. Although the other Roloff siblings have gone their own way, Zach has no intentions of leaving the show for the time being.
In summer 2015, the charismatic TV personality married his long-time girlfriend, Tori, who is of average height. The couple share two beautiful children named Jackson and Lilah who were born in May 2017 and November 2019; both have dwarfism. Sadly, Tori has been criticized by some netizens who don’t understand why she would pursue a serious relationship with Zach while knowing that their children could inherit the condition. However, the couple share a strong bond and don’t let the hate get to them.
These days, Tori is a housewife who dabbles in photography; when she met Zach, who is a youth soccer team coach and a worker on the family’s pumpkin farm, she worked as a kindergarten teacher. Tori’s love for children is evident and she takes great pride in being a stay-at-home mother.
Jeremy, Zach’s twin brother, matriculated from high school and went on to study at Portland Community College. Shortly afterwards, he transferred to the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. In 2012, he landed his first job as a camera operator for Human Not Hollywood Productions.
The 2010s were a fantastic decade for Jeremy, as he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in photography, worked as an operator for Cloudless Weddings for seven years, and met Audrey Mirabella Botti, his future wife. The pair hit it off immediately after a blind date in 2010, and were married in September 2014. Naturally, all these life changes meant that Jeremy slowly moved away from “Little People, Big World” to focus on his personal goals.
Ember Jean Roloff, Jeremy and Audrey’s first child, was born in 2017 in the same month of the couple’s three-year wedding anniversary. When Ember turned one, Jeremy and Audrey made the tough decision to leave the show permanently and expand their horizons. They completed the family with the arrival of Bode James in January 2020.
Jeremy and Audrey are clearly hoping to make names for themselves in the creative industry. In November 2018, they launched their podcast, “Behind The Scenes”, in which they talk about their marriage and interview entrepreneurs. Their book, “A Love Letter Life”, was an almost instant New York Times Bestseller with hundreds of positive reviews and was followed in January 2021 by “Creative Love: 10 Ways to Build a Fun and Lasting Love”.
Jacob and Molly Roloff are far less well-known and decided to stop appearing in the show many years ago. Jacob previously claimed to have been molested by one of the crew members of the series and has shown no interest in being a celebrity.
Roloff Farm 2022
As Roloff Farm has become such a big part of the family brand, netizens were understandably shocked to see Matt put 16 acres of the famous property on sale for a cool $4 million in May 2022. At the time, the patriarch told PEOPLE Magazine that he decided to put the farm’s north side on the market after his 60th birthday, adding: “I’ve owned, created and worked the land for over 32 wonderful years, but it’s time to lessen my load.”
— Trent Stenmark (@TrentStenmark) October 4, 2019
Matt’s initial plan was to sell the aforementioned 16 acres and keep the remaining 93 to continue the Roloff legacy and, more importantly, make memories with his beloved grandchildren. Obviously, Matt’s decision didn’t go down well with everyone; his girlfriend, Caryn Chandler, and Zach argued about the property being put on the market, which was a major storyline in the latest season of “Little People, Big World”.
However, Matt recently changed his mind, and will now be using the farm for Airbnb stays. In October 2022, he took to Instagram to share that he would be partnering up with a vacation company, and making the farm available for short-term rentals. “Fees will be determined by demand and seasons. Needless to say, we are scrambling hard behind the scenes to convert the home to be ready for its first guests,” he added.
Matt’s controversial decision didn’t go down well with his followers. One acid-tongue Instagram user commented: “Fact still remains that you screwed family over, and alienated them in the process. So much for the promise you made to your kids when they were growing up.” The promise they referred to was one that Matt made the younger Roloffs many years ago; the patriarch had promised to keep the farm in the family and never sell it, but was encouraged to do so by his girlfriend Caryn. Time will tell if Matt’s latest business ventures will cause more strain in the family, or if everyone will agree to see eye to eye.