Billy Barty

Billy Barty

Audio book: "Highlights from Within Reach," available only from the official web-site. [October 2005]

Billy died at 9:20 a.m. PST at Glendale Memorial Hospital after a two-week stay with lung and heart problems.

Father of a son, Braden Barty and a daughter, Lori.

Founder of The Little People of America Inc., a philanthropic organization of which no one taller than 4 ft 6 inches may become a member.

Had an admirable college career in sports: He played both football and basketball, plus ran 50 yards in 7.2 seconds.

Has a granddaughter, Tina.

He hosted his own daily kids TV show, "Billy Barty's Big Show" (1963), where he entertained and informed his viewers and studio audiences in between reruns of The Three Stooges films. It was seen weekday afternoons on KTTV Ch.11 in Hollywood, California from the early to mid 1960s.

He was a noted crusader for the greater public knowledge and social acceptance of dwarfs and was angered at his contemporary with a similar condition, Hervé Villechaize, for hampering his efforts by publicly insisting that he (Villechaize) was a midget instead.

He was on the Board with former President George Bush to help pass the Americans with Disabilities Act.

His funeral was held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in North Hollywood, California on December 27, 2000.

Hospitalized overnight for injuries from a motor scooter accident during a parade. [28 May 1999]

In 1991, after the first Gulf War, Rush Limbaugh, on his radio show, spoke of making a movie about it. When somebody suggested casting Billy Barty, Limbaugh said he was dead; however, the next day, Barty, who admitted he listened to Limbaugh's show regularly but had missed it that day, called in to prove otherwise.

Ironically, in 1990 producer/writer William Winckler sued Billy Barty in Small Claims Court in Van Nuys, California for money that was owed him on the TV comedy series Short Ribbs, and Winckler won the case against Barty. The press had a "field day" with all the publicity, stories ran through AP, UPI, The Daily News, ABC-TV News Los Angeles by reporter Joe McMann, and news swept throughout the country. Stories of Billy Barty being sued in Small Claims Court appeared in nearly every newspaper in the U.S. and internationally, on radio news shows, and covered by TV news stations. Entertainment Tonight ran a story on Billy Barty being taken to small claims court. Barty himself said it was the most negative publicity he ever had in his life, with headlines such as "Small Billy Barty in Small Claims," "Barty Comes Up Short in Small Claims," etc. . Barty added that he got nearly as much publicity as Zsa Zsa Gabor did for slapping a Beverly Hills police officer around the same time (1990). Short Ribbs writer Warren Taylor also sued Barty in Small Claims Court and won this case as well.

Los Angeles KRTH-FM Radio News Director Steve Fredericks once asked the 3-foot, 10-inch-tall actor in an interview whether, if he could suddenly become a "big" person, if he would choose that. After a long and thoughtful pause, Barty said, "No . . . because I've made all the adjustments.".

Majored in journalism at L.A. City College and was both sports editor and public relations director of the "L.A. Collegian" newspaper.

Said one of his major pet peeves was when people would try to pick him up as though he were a child.