Barty, Billy AKA William John

Billy Barty


Born: October 25, 1924
Died: December 23, 2000

Billy Barty was born William John Bertanzetti in Millsboro, Pennyslvania on October 25, 1924. His family moved to Los Angeles when he was three years old. Billy’s entry into show business wasn’t planned. As he and his father watched a movie being filmed in Hollywood, the director saw Billy and put him into the movie and that was the start of his career. Billy and his sister Dolores (Dede), both popular with their schoolmates, attended Mar-Ken School in their high school years. Billy never grew above three feet, nine inches. He found many roles that worked for his size, and continued an active entertainment career until his death in Los Angeles on December 23, 2000 at that age of 76. Billy appeared in scores of movies, many with major stars in their own right. He was instrumental in helping other people who were born as dwarfs by founding such organizations as The Little People of America, Inc., The Billy Barty Foundation, and the Billy Barty Golf Tournament. Billy was married to Shirley, they have two children Lori and Brandon. For more on Billy see the links below.
– by Alan Simon, for

See photo from Mar-Ken Reunion, 1993.

Brother of Dolores Barty.

True name was William John Bertanzetti.

From the September 28, 1942 & October 13, 1942 Mar-Ken Journals:
“Billie Barty” is on the Mar-Ken Journal Staff for these issues of the school newspaper.

From 1943 Mar-Ken Yearbook; Senior Crossword Puzzle:
Short stop, blue eyed and blond, and famous for his jitterbugging with his sister.

Links to other resources about Billy Barty:

Billy Barty’s Fan Club Website:
Contains a biography, photos, many links to Billy Barty sites, and where you can also purchase the book: Within Reach; an Inspirational Journey into the Life, Legacy and Influence of Billy Barty, written by his nephew Michael Copeland and his wife Debra.

Joe Collura’s biography of Billy Barty:

Associated Press obituary:

Internet Obituary Network entry (archived):

Notable Names Database Weblog entry:

Meridian Magazine article: