Latter-day Saints and Hollywood: 40 Fascinating Facts

17. Captain Phillips (2013) portrays Latter-day Saint Merchant Marine Mike Perry.

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Church member Mike Perry spent 45 years on the seas, becoming a Merchant Marine in 1995 after retiring from the Navy as a lieutenant commander. He was a crewmember on the merchant ship Maersk Alabama when it was attacked off the coast of Somalia in 2009. The harrowing story was portrayed on the big screen in the movie Captain Phillips (2013), starring Tom Hanks. Actor David Warshofsky plays Perry in the film.

Perry risked his life by subduing one of the pirates and helping disarm him. That pirate was eventually used as a bargaining chip by the ship’s captain, Richard Phillips, who was captured along with another crewmember in the first minutes of the attack. Perry told the press, “I didn't pattern myself after Chuck Norris or Jackie Chan,” referring to his actions on the ship. “The only thing that got me ready for this was the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

18. Three-foot nine-inch actor and Church member Billy Barty, most famous for his role in Willow (1988), appeared in over 200 films in his 70-year career.

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Image from imdb.com

If you ever feel intimidated because of physical or mental limitations, just look to the inspiring life of Church member Billy Barty. Barty, who died in 2000, is famously quoted as saying, “My parents never told me I was small, so I never knew any better.”

Barty began acting at age 3 and made his mark in the film business, appearing in films and television shows from 1927 to 2001. Over the course of his 70-year career, Billy appeared in over 200 films including vaudeville, television, commercials, stage roles, and nightclub appearances. He was perhaps the most recognizable of all little people and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in July 1981.

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