Shirley Bolingbroke: What happened to Billy Barty’s wife?

Shirley Bolingbroke: What happened to Billy Barty's wife?

Shirley Bolingbroke was a celebrity spouse due to her marriage to Billy Barty, an American actor and activist who specialized in playing outspoken and wisecracking characters in most of his movie roles. Billy suffered from a genetic disorder called cartilage–hair hypoplasia dwarfism and this caused him to be much shorter than an average person, 3 ft. 9 in.

Who was Shirley Bolingbroke?

Shirley Bolingbroke was born in Malad City, Idaho, United States of America. She was born on July 7, 1933. She was the youngest child of two natives of Oneida County, Chester Lusk Bolingbroke and Marion Valoye Smith Bolingbroke. She was also the younger sister to Chester Lew Bolingbroke and Cleve Smith Bolingbroke.

Shirley was an American citizen, and she belonged to the white race. She had two half-siblings from her parent’s previous relationship. Those siblings were Valoye Nordquist Moore, who died in 1986, and Ella Marie Nordquist Nelson, who also died in 2013.

Shirley, like her husband, Billy Bart, also suffered from the dwarfism genetic disorder. Her height was about 4 ft. 3 in. She did not reveal any information concerning her childhood and educational background. She had a private personality and kept most of her life away from the public eye.

According to, Shirley had a career in graphic design. Much is unknown about her job since she kept her private life away from the public.

Shirley Bolingbroke was married to Billy Bart for thirty years

Shirley Bolingbroke and Billy Bart did not disclose how they first met, but they were known to have completed in 1961. They dated for a year and a few months and eventually tied the knot to become husband and wife.

The couple married on February 24, 1962, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saint in Los Angeles, California. The occasion, branded by the media as ”A nice little wedding”, was attended by a few family members and well-wishers of both couples. Bishop Leslie F. Nelson, a brother-in-law to Shirley, officiated the occasion. At the time of the wedding, Shirley was 28, while her husband, Billy, was also 37.

According to an online source, Shirley Bolingbroke blushed throughout the wedding ceremony. On the other hand, Billy Barty acted nervous throughout the occasion. There is no information on any previous relationship between both couples.

Shirley and Billy remained married till the death of Billy in 2000. They were married for 38 years. Their marriage produced two children; Barden Barty and Lori Barty. Barden was born on July 24, 1970, and is 52 years old. He is a director and producer in Hollywood. His credited movies include Far Away Eyes and Spirit Space (both produced in 2008).

Lori Barty is an actress credited with the movie Under The Rainbow(1981) and The Last Of The Mohicans(1981).

In a tribute book to her father, Lori said: ”I remember my dad taking me to school on the first day of kindergarten. He was told I belonged in a school for disabled students because I was a dwarf. My father said, ”No way”. He fought and got me into the school. He never let me do anything less than anyone could do, whether they were four feet, six feet, or ten feet tall.”

What happened to Shirley Bolingbroke?

Seven years after the death of her husband, Billy Barty, on December 23, 2000, Shirley also passed away. She passed away on November 4, 2007. She was 74 years old at the time of her demise. Her husband is said to have died of a heart attack, but Shirley died of natural causes. She was succeeded in death by her two children and grandchildren.

Shirley Bolingbroke’s long marriage to Billy Barty was a successful one. There were no media controversies around it. It is on the list of long-standing celebrity marriages.