Billy Barty - Rotten Tomatoes

Billy Barty



American dwarf actor Billy Barty always claimed to have been born in the early '20s, but the evidence of his somewhat wizened, all-knowing countenance in his film appearances of the 1930s would suggest that he was at least ten years shy of the whole truth. At any rate, Barty made many film appearances from at least 1931 onward, most often cast as bratty children due to his height. He was a peripheral member of an Our Gang rip-off in the Mickey McGuire comedy shorts, portrayed the infant-turned-pig in Alice in Wonderland (1933), he did a turn in blackface as a "shrunken" Eddie Cantor in Roman Scandals (also 1933), and he frequently popped up as a lasciviously leering baby in the risqué musical highlights of Busby Berkeley's Warner Bros. films. One of Barty's most celebrated cinema moments occurred in 1937's Nothing Sacred, in which, playing a small boy, he pops up out of nowhere to bite Fredric March in the leg. Barty was busy but virtually anonymous in films, since he seldom received screen credit. TV audiences began to connect his name with his face in the 1950s when Barty was featured on various variety series hosted by bandleader Spike Jones. Disdainful of certain professional "little people" who rely on size alone to get laughs, Barty was seen at his very best on the Jones programs, dancing, singing, and delivering dead-on impressions: the diminutive actor's takeoff on Liberace was almost unbearably funny. Though he was willing to poke fun at himself on camera, Barty was fiercely opposed to TV and film producers who exploited midgets and dwarves, and as he continued his career into the 1970s and '80s, Barty saw to it that his own roles were devoid of patronization -- in fact, he often secured parts that could have been portrayed by so-called "normal" actors, proof that one's stature has little to do with one's talent. A two-fisted advocate of equitable treatment of short actors, Billy Barty took time away from his many roles in movies (Foul Play [1978], Willow [1988]) and TV to maintain his support organization The Little People of America and the Billy Barty Foundation. Billy Barty died in December 2000 of heart failure.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The Godmothers
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet The Mouse and the Motorcycle
  • Actor
2008
8% An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn
  • Himself
1998
24% Radioland Murders
  • Himself
1994
No Score Yet Wishful Thinking
  • Bank Robber
1992
No Score Yet The Naked Truth
  • Actor
1992
19% Life Stinks
  • Willy
1991
No Score Yet A Family Matter
  • Victor
1991
No Score Yet Going Under
  • Actor
1991
68% The Rescuers Down Under
  • Baitmouse
1990
63% UHF
  • Noodles
1989
No Score Yet Lobster Man from Mars
  • Throckmorton
1989
No Score Yet Diggin' Up Business
  • Crosby
1989
48% Willow
  • High Aldwin
1988
No Score Yet Off the Mark (Crazy Legs)
  • The Little Russian
1987
17% Masters of the Universe
  • Gwildor
1987
No Score Yet The Story of Snow White
  • Iddy
1987
No Score Yet Body Slam
  • Tim McClusky
1987
62% Tough Guys
  • Philly
1986
No Score Yet Cannon Movie Tales: Rumpelstiltskin
  • Rumplestiltskin
1986
48% Legend
  • Screwball
1985
No Score Yet Night Patrol
  • Capt. Lewis
1984
0% Under the Rainbow
  • Otto Kriegling
1981
10% Hardly Working
  • Sammy
1981
No Score Yet Being Different
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet Skatetown U.S.A.
  • Jimmy
1979
No Score Yet Firepower
  • Dominic Carbone
1979
76% Foul Play
  • J.J. MacKuen
1978
No Score Yet Rabbit Test
  • Lester
1978
No Score Yet The Amazing Dobermans
  • Clown
1976
No Score Yet Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood
  • Assistant Director
1976
No Score Yet W.c. Fields And Me
  • Ludwig
1976
No Score Yet Punch and Jody
  • Actor
1976
No Score Yet Paul Lynde Halloween Special
  • Actor
1976
No Score Yet Paul Lynde Halloween Special
  • Actor
1976
64% The Day of the Locust
  • Abe
1975
No Score Yet Sigmund and the Sea Monsters
  • Actor
1973
No Score Yet Pufnstuf
  • Googy Gopher
1970
No Score Yet Harum Scarum
  • Baba
1965
63% Roustabout
  • Billy, the Midget
1964
No Score Yet Billy Rose's Jumbo
  • Joey
1962
No Score Yet The Undead
  • The Imp
1957
No Score Yet The Clown
  • Midget
1953
No Score Yet Jungle Jim in Pygmy Island
  • Tembo
1950
100% Nothing Sacred
  • Little Boy
1937
No Score Yet Mickey the Great
  • Actor
1937
89% A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Mustardseed
1935
100% The Bride of Frankenstein
  • Miniature Baby (uncredited)
1935
No Score Yet Gift of Gab
  • Baby
1934
No Score Yet Alice in Wonderland
  • White Pawn and the Baby
1933
100% Footlight Parade
  • Mouse in "Sittin' on a Backyard Fence" Number
1933
100% Gold Diggers of 1933
  • `Pettin' in the Park' Baby
1933
No Score Yet Roman Scandals
  • Little Eddie
1933
No Score Yet Club Oasis V. 2
  • Actor
No Score Yet Club Oasis V. 1
  • Actor

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Little House on the Prairie
1974-1984
  • Owen
No Score Yet Frasier
1993-2004
  • Guest
No Score Yet CHiPs
1977-1983
  • James O'Hara

Quotes from Billy Barty's Characters