Pat Buttram

Biography: The son of a circuit-riding Methodist minister, American actor Pat Buttram led a hand-to-mouth existence as a child. He managed to get a scholarship to study theology at Birmingham Southern College, where amateur theatricals captured his enthusiasm. Buttram's first professional job was as a morning announcer at a Birmingham station, bringing home a lofty six dollars per week. Heading for Chicago to see the 1933 World's Fair, Buttram began picking up comedy relief work on radio station WLS's National Barn Dance, where he worked with such stars-to-be as Homer & Jethro and teenaged George Gobel (who would later cite Buttram as his principal comic influence). One of the Barn Dance headliners was singing cowboy Gene Autry, and when Autry inaugurated his starring radio series Melody Ranch in the 1940s, Buttram came aboard as comedy relief. Together, Autry and Buttram would make several pictures at both Republic and Columbia studios (Buttram's first was The Strawberry Roan [1948]);The son of a circuit-riding Methodist minister, American actor Pat Buttram led a hand-to-mouth existence as a child. He managed to get a scholarship to study theology at Birmingham Southern College, where amateur theatricals captured his enthusiasm. Buttram's first professional job was as a morning announcer at a Birmingham station, bringing home a lofty six dollars per week. Heading for Chicago to see the 1933 World's Fair, Buttram began picking up comedy relief work on radio station WLS's National Barn Dance, where he worked with such stars-to-be as Homer & Jethro and teenaged George Gobel (who would later cite Buttram as his principal comic influence). One of the Barn Dance headliners was singing cowboy Gene Autry, and when Autry inaugurated his starring radio series Melody Ranch in the 1940s, Buttram came aboard as comedy relief. Together, Autry and Buttram would make several pictures at both Republic and Columbia studios (Buttram's first was The Strawberry Roan [1948]); the two also co-starred on Autry's TV show, which ran for 91 episodes in the early '50s. Fast friends but not bosom buddies, Autry and Buttram became a little closer in 1950 when Pat was severely injured in an on-set accident and Gene gave him the encouragement to hang in there even when the doctors had given up hope. Autry retired from acting a multimillionaire in 1956; Buttram, while well off, still had to keep working, so after vetoing the notion of hitting the nightclub trail, he became an immensely popular after-dinner speaker at show-business functions. His subsequent TV roles were in a comical vein, but Buttram made an excellent impression in a feverishly dramatic part in "The Jar," one of the eeriest episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. In 1965, Buttram was cast as duplicitous peddler Mr. Haney on Green Acres, and for the next five seasons kept audiences in stitches as he sold "Mis-ter Douglas" (Eddie Albert) one useless item after another, delivering his laconic sales pitch in his inimitable singsong voice. Off-camera, Buttram was a successful rancher and stock market speculator, as well as a Civil War buff; he was happily married for many years to one-time Western leading lady Sheila Ryan, who left Pat a widower in 1975. Semi-retired by the 1980s, Pat Buttram made a few welcome appearances on TV (guesting on a Green Acres retrospective special on cable television, and providing a voice for the cartoon series Garfield and Friends) and movies (Back to the Future III [1989]). Expand

Pat Buttram's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average career score: 61
Highest Metascore: 74 The Rescuers
Lowest Metascore: 50 Roustabout
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
6 movie reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
55 Back to the Future Part III May 25, 1990 Saloon Old Timer 8.2
65 The Fox and the Hound Jul 10, 1981 Chief 8.0
74 The Rescuers Jun 22, 1977 Luke 6.4
57 Robin Hood Nov 8, 1973 Sheriff Of Nottingham - A Wolf / Sheriff Of Nottingham - A Wolf tbd
66 The Aristocats Dec 24, 1970 Napoleon 7.0
50 Roustabout Nov 11, 1964 Harry Carver tbd