Billy Curtis

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Billy Curtis
The Terror of Tiny Town (1938) still 1.jpg
Billy Curtis and Yvonne Moray in
The Terror of Tiny Town (1938)
Born
Luigi Curto

(1909-06-27)June 27, 1909
DiedNovember 9, 1988(1988-11-09) (aged 79)
Other namesLittle Billy, The Singer Midgets
OccupationActor
Years active1938–1988
Height4 ft 2 in (1.27 m)
Spouse(s)
Joann Curtis
(m. 1948; his death 1988)
Children2

Billy Curtis (born Luigi Curto, June 27, 1909 – November 9, 1988) was an American film and television actor best-remembered as a midget, who had a 50-year career in the entertainment industry.

Career[edit]

The bulk of his work was in the western and science fiction genres, portraying a little person. 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 was featured as Mordecai, a friendly dwarf sympathetic to Eastwood's character. 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.[1] 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.

Death[edit]

Curtis died November 9, 1988, in Dayton, Nevada of a heart attack.

Filmography[edit]

List of acting performances in film
Year Title Role Notes
1938 The Terror of Tiny Town The Hero
1939 Three Texas Steers Hercules
The Wizard of Oz Braggart Munchkin Uncredited
1941 Maisie Was a Lady Midget Uncredited
Emergency Landing Midget Judge
Meet John Doe Midget Uncredited
Outlaws of Cherokee Trail Papoose Uncredited
Hellzapoppin' Bodyguard Uncredited
1942 Tramp, Tramp, Tramp! Midget
Don't Lie Melinda the Chimp Short
Saboteur Midget - Circus Troupe
My Gal Sal Midget Driver Uncredited
Wings for the Eagle Midget (Eddie)
Just Off Broadway Billy - Midget in Wings Uncredited
Lucky Legs Newsboy Uncredited
1943 The Hard Way Vaudeville Midget Uncredited
1944 Ghost Catchers Midget in Nightclub Dinner Gag Uncredited
1945 That's the Spirit Midget Uncredited
Incendiary Blonde 'Baby' Joe Uncredited
An Angel Comes to Brooklyn Midget Musician Uncredited
1946 Three Wise Fools Dugan
1947 Buck Privates Come Home Man Uncredited
Blaze of Noon Midget Barker Uncredited
1948 April Showers Col. Rudolph L. Nemo
Hills of Home Mighty Mite Uncredited
Homicide for Three Himself - Midget
Jiggs and Maggie in Court Little Man Uncredited
1950 Pygmy Island Makuba
1951 Two Tickets to Broadway Midget in Deli Uncredited
Superman and the Mole Men Mole-Man Uncredited
1952 Limelight Midget in Agent's Office Uncredited
1953 Here Come the Girls Clown Uncredited
1954 Gorilla at Large Slim, Midget Carnival Employee Uncredited
Gog Gog / Magog operator Uncredited
Princess of the Nile Tut Uncredited
3 Ring Circus Circus Midget Clown Uncredited
1955 Jungle Moon Men Damu
The Court Jester One of Hermine's Midgets Uncredited
1956 Friendly Persuasion Midget at County Fair Uncredited
1957 The Incredible Shrinking Man Midget
1958 The Adventures of Superpup Superpup
1959 The Angry Red Planet Martian Uncredited
1964 Robin and the 7 Hoods Newsboy Uncredited
1965 Two on a Guillotine Big Mike - Owner / Bartender Uncredited
John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! Little Football Player Uncredited
Harlow Newsboy Uncredited
1966 Batman Midget TV Series
Season 1, Episode 17
Season 1, Episode 18
Out of Sight The Man From Flush
1967 Gilligan's Island Soldier TV Series: Episode "Lovey's Secret Admirer", Uncredited
Star Trek: The Original Series Small Copper-Skinned Ambassador TV Series: Season 2, Episode 10
1968 Planet of the Apes Child Ape Uncredited
The Legend of Lylah Clare Clown Uncredited
1969 The Comic Lifeguard in Film Uncredited
Hello, Dolly! Midget Uncredited
1970 Norwood Edmund B. Ratner
1972 Evil Roy Slade Toy Cowboy TV Movie, Uncredited
1973 High Plains Drifter Mordecai
Little Cigars Slick Bender
1974 How to Seduce a Woman Toulouse
1975 The Wild McCullochs Charlie P.
White House Madness Secret Service Man
1978 Loose Shoes Menchkin
1982 Eating Raoul Little Person
1984 The Night They Saved Christmas Jack
1985 Head Office Reverend Lynch
1986 The Twilight Zone Creature TV Series: Season 1, Episode 18
1987 Bloody Wednesday Teddy Voice, (final film role)

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. October 2, 2015.

External links[edit]