BILLY BARTY Biography - Actors and Actresses

 
 

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BILLY BARTY

Name: Billy Barty                                                                     
Birth name: William John Bertanzetti                                                 
Born: 25 October 1924 Millsboro, Pennsylvania                                         
Died: 23 December 2000                                                               
                                                                                     
Billy Barty (October 25, 1924–December 23, 2000), born William John Bertanzetti,   
was an American film actor.                                                           
                                                                                     
Barty, an Italian American, was born in Millsboro, Pennsylvania, and became one       
of the most famous 20th century people with dwarfism. He was a member of the         
gang in the Mickey McGuire serial of silent shorts (a children's comedy series       
of the 1920s, similar in tone to the "Our Gang"/"Little Rascals" comedies,           
starring a very young Mickey Rooney in the title role). In The Gold Diggers of       
1933, a nine-year-old Barty appeared as a baby who escapes from his perambulator.     
Because of his stature, much of his work consisted of bit parts and gag roles,       
although he was featured prominently in W.C. Fields and Me (1976), Foul Play and     
The Lord of the Rings (both 1978), Under the Rainbow (1981), Night Patrol (1984),     
Legend (1985), Masters of the Universe (1987), Willow (1988), UHF (1989), Life       
Stinks and Radioland Murders (1994). Barty was known for his boundless energy         
and enthusiasm for any productions in which he appeared. He also performed a         
remarkable impression of pianist Liberace. He performed with the Spike Jones         
musical comedy show on stage and television.                                         
                                                                                     
In 1983, Barty supplied the voice for Figment in EPCOT Center's Journey Into         
Imagination dark ride. He subsequently supplied a reprisal for the second             
incarnation, though very brief.                                                       
                                                                                     
Barty was a noted activist for the promotion of rights for others with dwarfism.     
He was disappointed with contemporary Hervé Villechaize's insistence that they       
were "midgets" instead of actors with dwarfism. Barty founded the Little People       
of America to help with his activism.                                                 
                                                                                     
Barty was married to Shirley Bolingbroke of Malad City, Idaho, from 1962 until       
his death at age 76. They had two children, Lori Neilson and TV/film producer         
and director Braden Barty.                                                           
                                                                                     
Barty and his family belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.     
                                                                                     
A tribute book on his life was published in December 2002. Within Reach: An           
Inspirational Journey into the Life, Legacy and Influence of Billy Barty was         
produced by Barty's nephew, Michael Copeland, and Michael's wife, Debra.             
                                                                                     
Until the time of his death, Barty was a beloved annual guest-star on Canada's       
Telemiracle telethon, one of the most successful (per capita) telethons in the       
world.