Closer Weekly - - Closer To You -

From Sept. 8, 1973, to Nov. 23, 1974, th­ese guys showed the im­por­tance of friends, friends, friends on Satur­day morn­ings.

Billy Barty 1924–2000 Sig­mund’s fam­ily kicked

him out for not be­ing scary, but show­biz vet Billy was al­ways ac­cepted

in Hol­ly­wood for be­ing him­self — ap­pear­ing in more than 75 TV shows and movies, in­clud­ing Foul Play, Tough Guys and Wil­low. He also started The Billy Barty Foun­da­tion to

ben­e­fit those of short stature.

Johnny Whi­taker

While beach­comb­ing Johnny came to the aid of new friend Sig­mund, se­ries star Johnny, 57, left act­ing

for mis­sion­ary work and col­lege. He then worked as a ta­lent agent and is now a drug coun­selor, stem­ming from a bat­tle with sub­stance abuse. “I have not al­ways made the right choices in my life,” he’s said, “but

ev­ery­thing hap­pens for a rea­son.”

Rip Tay­lor Sea ge­nie Shel­don added

some magic for the show’s sec­ond sea­son. Con­fetti-toss­ing comic

Rip, 82, ap­plied his tricks of the trade on a string of game shows from Hol­ly­wood Squares to The Gong Show and The $1.98 Beauty Show. He has also ap­peared in pics like In­de­cent

Pro­posal, has done voice-over work and per­formed his act ex­ten­sively in Las Ve­gas.

Scott Kolden Though Johnny’s brother Scott had to keep mum about hid­ing Sig­mund in their club­house, Scott, 55, went on to make a lot of noise as a sound ef­fects engi­neer. He’s worked on over 200 films and TV se­ries, in­clud­ing The X-Files, Becker, Ev­ery­body Loves Ray­mond and 24. He also found time to get mar­ried (with Johnny serv­ing as his

best man) and be­come the fa­ther of six.

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