Israel Castro, better known as Shorty Castro (b. January 28, 1927 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican comedian, comedy writer and musician, with a career spanning over 60 years. He is regarded as one of the best stage directors in Puerto Rican comedy. Among others, Benicio del Toro and Raul Julia have acknowledged Castro as an influence. Coincidentally, Castro was nicknamed "Shorty" by baseball player Artie Wilson, who played for the Indios de Mayagüez of the Puerto Rico Baseball League. Castro (who measures 4 feet 11 inches tall), handled the team's uniforms at the time. Castro was born in Mayagüez's Barrio La Quinta and raised at Barrio París, the same neighborhood that later produced singer Chucho Avellanet. Since Castro was short in stature, he claimed, he had to compensate by bringing attention to himself. He eventually developed the skills necessary to become an entertainer: good singing voice, talent as a percussionist, and good timing for comedy. While working full time as a messenger for the municipality of Mayagüez, Castro held odd jobs in numerous local orchestras, mostly as a singer and percussionist.