LOS ANGELES (AP)- Billy Barty, a 3-foot-10 actor whose career spanned seven decades, died Saturday of heart failure. He was 76.
Barty had been hospitalized in Glendale for heart problems and a lung infection, said his publicist, Bill York.
Barty appeared in his first Hollywood feature in 1927 at the age of 3 and performed for radio, television and on Broadway. He played a number of outrageous characters, including a wizard in the movie “Willow” (1988), a tongue-in-cheek role as a German spy in “Under the Rainbow” (1978), and an agent in “Day of the Locust”. (1975)
In the late 20s and early 30s, he played Mickey Rooney’s kid brother in the “Mickey McGuire” series of comedy shorts. He later had several TV appearances, including his own children’s show called “Billy Barty’s Big Show” in Los Angeles in the 1960’s, and he appeared on several shows over the past three decades, most recently an episode of “Frasier.”
In 1957, Barty founded Little People of America, an advocacy group for others with dwarfism. He later started a non-profit foundation that bears his name to help improve the quality of life for little people, the term he said he preferred.
On his foundation’s Web site, Barty says: “The name of my condition is Cartilage Hair Syndrome hypoplasia, but you can just call me Billy.”
Barty is survived by his wife, Shirley; son, Braden; daughter, Lori; and granddaughter, Tina.