Tagged: Billy Barty

Dr. Shrinker

DR. SHRINKER/ABC/1977 (Scientist Shrinks People)

Dr. Shrinker (Jay Robinson), a crazed scientist who shrunk humans via radiation with the aide of Hugo, his little assistant (Billy Barty) on a segment of the KROFFT SUPERSHOW/ABC/1976-77).

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Dr. Shrinker used a large four-foot, multi-color barrel device stored in his laboratory to shrink his victims. The same machine would reverse the process.

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When teenagers named Brad Fulton (Ted Eccles), B.J. Masterson (Susan Lawrence) and her brother Gordie Masterson (Jeff MacKay) crash land their plane on Shrinker’s Island, they are exposed to the doctor’s shrinking ray which reduces them to a height of six inches.

“I chase the Shrinkies. I catch the Shrinkies. The Shrinkies escape. It’s a vicious cycle and it’s driving me mad!” – Dr. Shrinker

The series follows the efforts of the three “Shrinkies” to get unshrunk and off the island, while Dr. Shrinker and his assistant Hugo try to capture them.

Note: The show resurrected the idea of a shrinking machine from the sci-fi film Dr. Cyclops (1940) starring Albert Dekker as an other crazed scientist who shrank humans and animals and kept them locked in tiny laboratory cages.

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Ace Crawford, Private Eye

ACE CRAWFORD, PRIVATE EYE/CBS/1983 (Little Person)

Inch (Billy Barty), the dwarf bartender and owner of the sleazy wharfside bar called the “Shanty,” The bar was frequented by Ace Crawford, a bumbling, trench-coated private detective.

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Each episode ended with Ace Crawford leaving The Shanty having solved his latest case then walking along the wharf, disappearing into the night fog… and falling in the water (splashing sound heard).

Note: Billy Barty, the 3-foot-9 actor who founded Little People of America (LPA) in 1957, died on December 23, 2000 of heart failure, at the age of 76. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1981.