Maxwell Emmett "Pat" Buttram (June 19, 1915 – January 8, 1994) was an American character actor, known for playing the sidekick of Gene Autry and for playing the character of Mr. Haney in the television series Green Acres. He had a distinctive voice that, in his own words, "never quite made it through puberty".
Maxwell Emmett Buttram
June 19, 1915
Addison, Alabama, U.S.
|Died||January 8, 1994 (aged 78)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Renal failure|
|Resting place||Maxwell Chapel, United Methodist Church|
Haleyville, Alabama, U.S.
|Alma mater||Birmingham-Southern College|
(m. 1936; div. 1946)
(m. 1952; her death 1975)
Buttram was born in Addison in Winston County, Alabama, to Wilson McDaniel Buttram, a Methodist minister, and his wife Mary Emmett Maxwell. He had an older brother, Augustus McDaniel Buttram, and five other elder siblings. When "Pat" Buttram was a year old, his father was transferred to Nauvoo, Alabama. Buttram graduated from Mortimer Jordan High School, which was then located in Morris, Alabama, then entered Birmingham–Southern College to study for the Methodist ministry.
He was then picked by Gene Autry, recently returned from his World War II service in the Army Air Force, to work with him. Buttram would co-star with Gene Autry in more than 40 films and in over 100 episodes of Autry's television show. Buttram's first Autry film was Strawberry Roan in 1948. In the late 1940s, Buttram joined Autry on his radio show, Melody Ranch and then on television with The Gene Autry Show. During the first television season, Buttram went by "Pat" or "Patrick", with a variety of last names. From the second season forward, he used his own name.
Buttram also played Mr. Eustace Haney in the 1965–1971 CBS television comedy Green Acres. He did voice work for several Disney animated features, playing Napoleon (hound dog) in The Aristocats, the Sheriff of Nottingham (a wolf) in Robin Hood, Luke (muskrat) in The Rescuers, Chief (hunting dog) in The Fox and the Hound, and one of the Toon bullets in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He had a recurring role as the voice of Cactus Jake on Garfield and Friends. One of his last roles was a cameo in Back to the Future Part III. His final voice-over was A Goofy Movie, released a year after his death. Buttram is credited as one of the writers on the Hee Haw television show for two episodes, in 1969 and 1970.
Buttram made the oft-quoted observation about the 1971 "rural purge", in which CBS cancelled many programs with a rural-related theme or setting: "CBS canceled everything with a tree — including Lassie", referring to the cancellations of Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction.
In 1936, Buttram married Dorothy McFadden. The couple adopted a daughter but divorced in 1946. In 1952, he married actress Sheila Ryan; the marriage ended with her death in 1975. They had a daughter named Kathrine (nicknamed Kerry) born in 1954. Buttram retired from acting in 1980 and made his home in his native Winston County, Alabama. However, he soon returned to California, where he made frequent personal appearances.
Buttram was a staunch Republican who helped Ronald Reagan spice up his speeches with political quips. In 1993, Buttram expressed surprise that with the inauguration of Bill Clinton and Al Gore as US President and Vice President, respectively, so many Hollywood actors were "taken with that whole country-boy image they tried to project." According to his niece, Mary Buttram Young of Sheffield, Alabama, "Uncle Pat would always say, 'I'm from Alabama – I can see right through that'."
Buttram died in 1994 at the age of 78 of renal failure in Los Angeles, California. He is interred at the cemetery at the Maxwell Chapel United Methodist Church in the Pebble community near Haleyville, Alabama.
|1944||The National Barn Dance||Himself|
|1948||The Strawberry Roan||Hank|
|1949||Riders in the Sky||Chuckwalla|
|1950||Mule Train||Smokey Argyle|
|1950||Beyond the Purple Hills||Mike Rawley|
|1950||Indian Territory||Shadrach Jones|
|1950||The Blazing Sun||Mike|
|1951||Gene Autry and The Mounties||Scat Russell|
|1951||Texans Never Cry||Ranger Pecos Bates|
|1951||The Hills of Utah||Dusty Cosgrove|
|1951||Valley of Fire||Breezie|
|1952||The Old West||Panhandle Gibbs|
|1952||Night Stage to Galveston||Himself|
|1952||Barbed Wire||"Buckeye" Buttram|
|1952||Wagon Team||Deputy Pat Buttram|
|1952||Blue Canadian Rockies||Rawhide|
|1961||Wild in the Country||Mr Longstreet, the mechanic||Uncredited|
|1963||Twilight of Honor||Cole Clinton|
|1964||The Hanged Man||Otis Honeywell||TV Movie|
|1966||Sergeant Deadhead||The President|
|1968||The Sweet Ride||Texas Gambler|
|1968||I Sailed to Tahiti with an All Girl Crew||Blodgett|
|1971||The Gatling Gun||Tin Pot|
|1972||Evil Roy Slade||Narrator||TV movie|
|1973||Robin Hood||Sheriff of Nottingham||Voice|
|1976||Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch||Narrator|
|1977||The Rescuers||Luke - swamp inhabitant||Voice|
|1979||Angels Brigade||Used Car Salesman|
|1981||The Fox and the Hound||Chief - hunting dog||Voice|
|1988||The Good, the Bad, and Huckleberry Hound||Red Eye the bartender||Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10, TV Movie|
|Who Framed Roger Rabbit||A toon bullet #3||Voice|
Live action / animated film
|1990||Back to the Future: Part III||Jeb, Saloon Old Timer #3||Cameo|
|1995||A Goofy Movie||Possum Park Emcee||Voice|
Dedicated to him, (final film role)
Partial television creditsEdit
|1950-1955||The Gene Autry Show||Pat||83 episodes|
|1961–1963||The Real McCoys||Cousin Carl
|"Back to West Virginny" (1961) |
"Fly Away Home" (1961)
"Luke the Reporter" (1962)
"The Partners" (1963)
|1962-1967||The Ed Sullivan Show||Himself||8 episodes|
|1963||Make Room for Daddy||Harvey Bullock||"Here's the $50 Back"|
|1964||The Tycoon||Brian||"The Shotgun Meyer"|
|1964||The Alfred Hitchcock Hour||Charlie Hill||"The Jar"|
|1965-1971||Green Acres||Mr. Haney||143 episodes|
|1965||The Munsters||Pop Mallory||"All-Star Munster"|
|1966||Petticoat Junction||Mr. Haney
|"The County Fair" (1966) |
"The Other Woman" (1969)
"A Most Momentous Occasion" (1969)
|1967||The Hollywood Squares||Himself||5 episodes|
|1968–1973||The Dean Martin Comedy Hour||Himself||3 episodes|
|1970||The Merv Griffin Show||Himself||June 25, 1970|
|1971||The Jimmy Stewart Show||Oscar Pettywhistle||"Luther's Last Love"|
|1972||Alias Smith and Jones||First Sheriff||"Bad Night in Big Butte"|
|1972||The Mouse Factory||Himself||"Bullfighting to Bullfrogs"|
|1973||Adam-12||Drunk Man||"Keeping Tabs"|
|1979||The Sacketts||Tuthill the Bank Teller||Miniseries|
|1982||Simon and Simon||Jonathan Evans||"Rough Rider Rides Again"|
|1984||Family Feud||Himself||"Country & Western Singers vs. TV & Film Cowboys"|
|1986||Knight Rider||Buck||"Fright Knight"|
|1989-1991||Garfield and Friends||Cactus Jake (10 episodes), Cactus Josh (1), Cactus Jimmy (1), Cactus Joe (1) (voice)||10 episodes; animated series|
|1990–1991||Who's the Boss||Chappy
|"Broadcast Blues" (1990) |
"The Road to Washington, Part 1" (1991)
"The Road to Washington, Part 2" (1991)
|1991||Tiny Toon Adventures||Bicycle Bob||"Son of the Wacko World of Sports"|
|1992||Rugrats||Eddie (voice)||"Graham Canyon" (1992); animated series|
- "Terry Pace, "Pat Buttram: Homespun humorist, character actor, cowboy sidekick"". The Los Angeles Times, March 1, 2001. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
- Wilson, Claire M. "Pat Buttram" on the Encyclopedia of Alabama website
- "KFLW (radio listing)". Herald and News. January 11, 1959. p. 51. Retrieved April 27, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Hee HAw: Writers" on TV.co
- Quotation taken from amazon.com preview of book, accessed March 23, 2009. Harkins, Anthony (2005). Hillbilly: A Cultural History of an American Icon. Oxford University Press US. p. 203. ISBN 0-19-518950-7.
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