|Born||Elmer Calvin Patterson
October 9, 1888
Springville, Alabama, U.S.
|Died||August 23, 1975
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
|Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)|
Hank Patterson (born Elmer Calvin Patterson; October 9, 1888 – August 23, 1975) was an American actor and musician. He is most known for playing stableman Hank Miller on Gunsmoke and Fred Ziffel on Petticoat Junction and Green Acres.
Patterson was born in Springville, Alabama, one of seven children of Green Davis Patterson, an insurance agent, and Mary Isabell "Mollie" Newton Patterson. By the 1890s his family had moved to Taylor, Texas, where he spent most of his boyhood. He attended school through eighth grade. In 1917, he registered for a World War I draft card in Lubbock County, Texas.
Patterson had intended to be a serious pianist, but became instead a vaudeville piano player. By the end of the 1920s, he moved to California. He entered the movie business as an actor during the 1930s. HIs earliest identified screen work was an uncredited appearance in the Roy Rogers western The Arizona Kid (1939).
Movies and TV
Patterson found plenty of movie work, mainly playing cantankerous types as well as blacksmiths, hotel clerks, farmers, shopkeepers, and other townsmen, usually bit roles and character parts, in Republic Pictures westerns, and then in the popular juvenile TV westerns including The Cisco Kid, The Adventures of Kit Carson, The Lone Ranger and Annie Oakley.
He played recurring or different roles in adult/family TV westerns including Have Gun-Will Travel (11 episodes), Death Valley Days (nine episodes), Tales of Wells Fargo (seven episodes), Maverick (four episodes), Cheyenne (four episodes), Wagon Train (three episodes), Daniel Boone (three episodes), The Virginian (two episodes), The Rifleman and Bonanza and in episodes of Lawman, Bat Masterson and many others.
He made additional TV appearances including three episodes of The Twilight Zone as well as Perry Mason, Burke's Law, The Untouchables, Judd for the Defense and in later years The Mod Squad and Love, American Style.
In 1963, Patterson first appeared in what would become a recurring role as farmer Fred Ziffel on the popular CBS rural comedy Petticoat Junction. In 1965, CBS debuted another rural comedy, Green Acres. Both series were set in the mythical farming community of "Hooterville", with characters from Petticoat Junction often also appearing in Green Acres, including Patterson's Fred Ziffel character. It was on the popular, irreverent Green Acres that Patterson earned his greatest notoriety. In 1965 and 1966, two of the years in which the two series ran concurrently, Patterson frequently appeared in both shows within the same week on primetime.
The association of Patterson's character with the popular character Arnold, the pet pig whom Fred and his wife, Doris, treated as a son, ensured Patterson a place in TV history. Arnold attended school, watched TV, and was a talented artist, piano player and actor. He even "talked" (snorted, grunted and squealed) in a language that everyone in Hooterville seemed to understand except Oliver Wendell Douglas (Green Acres co-star Eddie Albert).
According to westernclippings.com "Characters and Heavies" by Boyd Magers, "Ironically, by the time Patterson was doing 'Green Acres' he was in his late 70s and almost completely deaf, but the producers loved his portrayal so much they worked around his hearing impairment by having the dialogue coach lying on the floor out-of-shot tapping Hank’s leg with a yardstick as a cue to speak his line."
Hank Patterson was married to Daisy Marguerite (Sheeler) Patterson, a Kentucky native four years younger than Hank whose parents were both of German ancestry. They are listed together in both the 1930 and 1940 U.S. Census residing in Los Angeles. In the 1940 census, Hank's occupation is listed as "Actor, Motion Picture Studio & Stage." 
Patterson's great-grandfather, James Pearson, was an original settler of St. Clair County, Alabama as was his mother's great-grandfather, Thomas Newton. His great-grandfather, Henry S. Patterson, moved to Blount County, Alabama around 1857 from Murray County, Georgia. Between 1894 and 1897, the family left Alabama to live in Texas.
Hank Patterson died at age 86 on August 23, 1975 of bronchial pneumonia. He is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood, California. Daisy died, also at age 86, on February 2, 1979.
- Hank Patterson movies, photos, movie reviews, filmography, and biography - AllMovie
- View Free Records with a Free Account
- http://www.allmovie.com/artist/hank-patterson-p55427 eventually moving to Hollywood
- Gunsmoke: The Other Hard Living Folks in Dodge City
- Hank Patterson | Charles Starrett - One Fan's Journey
- Hank Patterson Credits
- Have Gun - Will Travel - Season 2, Episode 2: In an Evil Time - TV.com
- Have Gun - Will Travel: The Final Season, Volume Two : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video
- Classic TV & Movie Hits - Tales of Wells Fargo
- CTVA US Western - "Tales of Wells Fargo" (Revue/NBC) Season 6 (1961-62)
- Hank Patterson
- Hank Patterson - About This Person - Movies & TV - NYTimes.com
- Favorite Hank Patterson Episode? in Twilight Zone: The Polls Forum
- Perry Mason TV Series Wiki | EpisodePages / Show38
- Arnold the Pig,... -Green Acres - latimes.com
- Frequently Asked Green Acres Questions
- Hank Patterson (1888 - 1975) - Find A Grave Memorial
- Leoni Online: The Articles - Elle Magazine