William John Bertanzetti (later known as Billy Barty) was born October 25, 1924 in Millsboro, Pennsylvania to Albert and Ellen Bertanzetti. As a three year old, he moved with his family to California and immediately began his Hollywood screen career.
His talent soon earned him a part in the 1933 adaptation of "Alice In Wonderland", which led to an uncredited part as 'Little Baby' in "The Bride of Frankenstein". Garnering various roles throughout his teen years, Billy’s big break came with the rising popularity of television. He developed into one of the most recognized character actors of his day.
Beginning in 1951 with an appearance on "Your Pet Parade", America embraced Billy. He soon landed a starring role as Little Tom in "Circus Boy", alongside child star Mickey Dolenz, later of "The Monkees". In the late 1960’s, Mr. Barty signed with Sid and Marty Krofft. He became a fixture on Saturday mornings, appearing in such children shows as "H.R. Pufnstuf" (the movie), "Sigmund And The Sea Monsters", "The Bugaloos", and "Dr. Shrinker". His flair for the dramatic perhaps reached its pinnacle, with a touching performance as guest star in the 1982 episode of "Little House On The Prairie" entitled 'Little Lou'.
He also portrayed memorable characters in the movies "Willow" and "The Day Of The Locust". Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, he continued to find roles both on the big screen and television.
Billy also formed "The Little People of America, Inc.", which later created the Billy Barty Foundation. Both are dedicated to promoting equality for people of smaller size.
He and his wife Shirley were married in 1950, and had two children: Lori (a little person) and Braden (six-foot one inch). Billy passed away on December 23, 2000 in Glendale, California due to heart failure.… Expand
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