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June 27, 1909
Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||November 9, 1988
Dayton, Nevada, U.S.
|Other names||Little Billy, The Singer Midgets|
|Height||4 ft 2 in (1.27 m)|
|Spouse(s)||Joann Curtis (m.1948–1988; his death)|
Billy Curtis, born Luigi Curto, (June 27, 1909 – November 9, 1988) was an American film and television actor with dwarfism who had a 50-year career in the entertainment industry.
The bulk of his work was in the western and science fiction genres. One of his early roles was uncredited as a Munchkin city father in The Wizard of Oz (1939). He had a featured role as part of the circus troupe in Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur (1942). He also appeared in Superman and the Mole Men (1951), a B-Picture intended as the pilot for the Adventures of Superman TV series.
Curtis's work in westerns included the Clint Eastwood feature, High Plains Drifter (1973) in which he featured as Mordecai, a friendly dwarf sympathetic to Eastwood, he also appeared in the Musical/Western The Terror of Tiny Town (1938). This film is, as far as is known, the world's only Western with an all-midget cast. Many of the actors in Tiny Town were part of a performing troupe called Singer's Midgets, who also played Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz. In 1972 he appeared as Arizona in an episode of "Gunsmoke" titled "Arizona Midnight." He had a starring role in American International Pictures' Little Cigars (1973), about a gang of small people on a crime spree.
|1938||The Terror of Tiny Town||The Hero|
|1939||The Wizard of Oz||Braggart Munchkin|
|Three Texas Steers||Hercules|
|1941||Emergency Landing||Judge Gildersleeve|
|Don't Lie||Melinda the Chimp|
|1946||Three Wise Fools||Dugan|
|1951||Superman and the Mole Men||Mole-Man|
|1955||Jungle Moon Men||Damu|
|1957||The Incredible Shrinking Man||Midget|
|1958||The Adventures of Superpup||Superpup|
|1966||Out of Sight||Flush Man|
|Batman||Midget||Season 1, Episode 17
Season 1, Episode 18
|1968||Star Trek: The Original Series||Small Copper-Skinned Ambassador||Season 2, Episode 10|
|1972||Evil Roy Slade||Toy Cowboy|
|1973||High Plains Drifter||Mordecai|
|Little Cigars||Slick Bender|
|1986||The Twilight Zone||Creature||Season 1, Episode 18|
- O'Connor, John E and Peter C Rollins. "Hollywood's West: The American Frontier In Film, Television, And History." 2006. American Historical Review. Ed. Professional Development Review. web. 2 October 2015.
- Billy Curtis at Find a Grave
- Billy Curtis at the Internet Movie Database
- Billy Curtis at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- The Terror of Tiny Town at the Internet Movie Database
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