Birthday: June 19, 1915
Died At Age: 78
Sun Sign: Gemini
Also Known As: Maxwell Emmett Buttram
Born in: Addison, Alabama
Famous as: Actor
Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Males
political ideology: Republican
Spouse/Ex-: Dorothy McFadden (m. 1936–1946), Sheila Ryan (m. 1952–1975)
father: Wilson McDaniel Buttram
mother: Mary Emmett Maxwell
siblings: Augustus McDaniel Buttram
children: Gayle Buttram, Kerry Buttram-Galgano
Died on: January 8, 1994
U.S. State: Alabama
education: Birmingham–Southern College
Maxwell Emmett Buttram was an American actor, TV star, and radio performer. Better known as “Pat Buttram,” he ascended to fame with the comedy show ‘Green Acres,’ aired between 1965 and 1971, where he brought to life the shady yet hilarious character of ‘Mr. Haney.’ He also invited attention as the sidekick to Gene Autry in the ‘The Gene Autry Show.’ Buttram, a character actor, acted in more than 40 movies and was one of the most popular comic entertainers of his time. He also had an illustrious career as a radio performer and voiceover artist. Buttram entertained the American audience throughout the second half of the 20th century. Buttram died of renal failure at the age of 78. His death marked the loss of an irreplaceable comic actor.
Childhood & Early Life
Pat Buttram was born on June 19, 1915, in Addison, Winston County, Alabama, US. He was the seventh child born to Wison McDaniel Buttram, a Methodist minister, and his wife, Mary Emmett Maxwell. Buttram was no more than a year old when the family moved to Nauvoo, Alabama, owing to his father’s transfer.
Buttram attended several schools in North Alabama but finally graduated from ‘Mortimer Jordan High School’ in Jefferson County. After his graduation, he enrolled at the ‘Birmingham-Southern College’ to prepare for the Methodist ministry, which was his initial choice of career.
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Buttram performed in college plays and was also a radio performer in his early days. In 1933, a month before his 18th birthday, he left Alabama to attend the ‘Chicago World’s Fair,’ and that is where his life took a new turn. Here, he auditioned for the ‘WLS National Barn Dance,’ starting his career as a TV show star. He performed on the show regularly for 13 years, his slot being billed as the ‘Winston County Flash.’
In the 1940s, Pat Buttram moved to Hollywood, where he soon acquired the position of Roy Rogers’s sidekick. Roy, however, ended up with two sidekicks, and eventually, Buttram lost his position. Earlier in Chicago, Buttram had made acquaintances with Gene Autry, who now picked him up as a sidekick.
Buttram was a constant presence around Autry, and the two of them worked in more than 40 films together. Buttram also starred in as many as a hundred episodes of ‘The Gene Autry Show.’
The first movie in which Buttram shared screen space with Autry was ‘Strawberry Roan’ in 1948. Buttram also started performing with Autry on his radio show ‘Melody Ranch.’ In 1950, Buttram co-starred with Autry on ‘The Gene Autry Show,’ which is said to be one of the most acclaimed ventures of his life as an entertainer.
Some of Buttram’s other successful movies were ‘Riders in the Sky’ (1949), ‘Indian Territory’ (1950), and ‘Barbed Wire’ (1952).
Between 1965 and 1971, Buttram played the character of ‘Mr. Eustace Haney’ in one of ‘CBC’s most popular comedy shows, ‘Green Acres.’
Buttram worked extensively as a voiceover artist, lending his voice to numerous ‘Disney’ animated movies. Some of his noteworthy voice roles were for the movies ‘Robin Hood,’ ‘The Fox and The Hound,’ ‘The Rescuers,’ ‘The Aristocats,’ ‘Sherrif of Nottingham,’ and ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit.’
In one of his last cameo roles, Buttram worked with the hugely popular ‘Back to the Future’ franchise, appearing in the third and the last movie of the trilogy. His last voiceover work was for the film ‘A Goofy Movie.’
Buttram possibly wrote the script for the TV show ‘Hee Haw,’ between 1969 and 1970. He was also a regular performer on Robert W Morgan’s morning radio show on the radio station ‘KMPC’ in Los Angeles.
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Pat Buttram’s performance in ’Green Acres’ is generally regarded as the most commendable work of his life. His character, ‘Mr. Haney,’ was a salesperson with a somewhat wicked disposition, who liked conning ‘Eddie Albert’s character into purchasing junk of all sorts. Their interactions, however, largely contributed to the hilarity of the show.
Buttram earned considerable recognition as the replacement of Smiley Burnette, the sidekick to Autrey’s cowboy persona in ‘The Gene Autrey Show.’
Awards & Achievements
In 1988, Buttram was honored with a “star” on the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame.’
He also earned a “star” at the ‘Alabama Stars of Fame’ in Birmingham.
Family & Personal Life
In 1936, Buttram married Dorothy McFadden. However, they officially divorced in 1946. The couple had adopted a daughter when they were together.
In 1952, Buttram walked the aisle for the second time, marrying actor Sheila Ryan, whom he had met on the sets of ‘Mule Train’. In 1954, a daughter was born to them. They named her Kathrine. They stayed together until Ryan’s demise in 1975.
Buttram retired in 1980 and moved back home to Alabama, but he soon returned to California. He suffered from renal failure and breathed his last on January 8, 1994, in Los Angeles, California. He was buried at the ‘Maxwell Chapel United Methodist Church’ cemetery in Haleyville, Alabama.
Pat Buttram was a staunch ‘Republican’ who, in fact, worked with Ronald Reagan, helping the latter fix his public speeches with a tinge of humor.
Buttram became as quite a brand ambassador for the stock “westerner” character that was beginning to lose relevance at that time. He started the ‘Golden Boot Annual Awards’ to acknowledge present and past performances of actors as “westerners.” Ronald Reagan was one of the recipients of this award.