Flashback: Eric the Actor's First Call to Howard Stern

On this fateful call from 2002, Eric defends Kelly Clarkson's honor and reveals his secret crush on Beverley Mitchell.

The Howard Stern Universe suffered a major loss over the weekend when Eric "the Actor" Lynch died suddenly in a California hospital.

For those unfamiliar with the show, Lynch (also known as Eric the Midget) was a 39-year-old Sacramento native completely obsessed with American Idol, professional wrestling and nearly every other aspect of the entertainment industry. Despite the fact he was just a hair over three feet tall, used a wheelchair and suffered from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Lynch dreamed of establishing himself as an actor. Due to his involvement with The Howard Stern Show, he did wind up with bit parts on shows like Fringe and In Plain Sight.

Lynch first called into Howard Stern on September 19, 2002 to defend Kelly Clarkson, who Stern recently called out for being, in his opinion, overweight. (You can hear audio of that fateful call above.) Within a few minutes, Howard got him to reveal that he masturbated to 7th Heaven actress Beverley Mitchell and an unlikely star was born. He continued to phone regularly, sharing his opinions about every topic imaginable and growing increasingly livid at Stern, his staff, other members of the Wack Pack and the show's many fans. It made for amazing radio.

Despite the fame and legit acting work the show brought him, Lynch was rarely anything but furious and resentful, frequently pledging to never call in again. He banned himself for a few months last year, even as a new caller emerged named Derek From Texas that sounded suspiciously like Eric with a southern drawl. For whatever reason, Eric was often convinced that Stern and members of his staff were conspiring with others to attack him on social media.

Earlier this week, longtime Eric the Midget fan Jimmy Kimmel phoned in to pay his respects. "I think the fact that Eric had no respect for you whatsoever, is what I liked best about him," he said. "You'd sit here and talk to this tiny little guy in a wheelchair who lived with his parents and really didn't have a whole lot going on outside of watching wrestling and American Idol, and he would argue with you as if you were equals, and you would argue with him as if you were equals, and I guess you really were because you both took that position. I just loved that."