John Hamilton (actor)
|Born||John Rummel Hamilton
January 16, 1887
Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, US
|Died||October 15, 1958
Glendale, California, U.S.
John Hamilton (January 16, 1887 – October 15, 1958) was an American actor, who appeared in many movies and television programs. He is probably best remembered for his role as the blustery newspaper editor Perry White on the 1950s television program Adventures of Superman.
Burly, stentorian-voiced John Hamilton was born John Rummel Hamilton in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania to John M. Hamilton and his wife Cornelia J. (Hollar) Hamilton. Hamilton was the youngest of four children, and his mother died eight days after his birth. His father remarried and Rosa, his stepmother, was the only mother the young Hamilton knew. Hamilton grew up in neighboring Southampton Township Pennsylvania, where his father worked as a store clerk.
Hamilton's father was also appointed Shippensburg's trustee for the State Superintendent of Public Education, so it was a foregone conclusion that Hamilton would receive extensive schooling. Unlike most others of his generation and background (Southampton being a farming community), Hamilton went beyond high school, attending Dickinson College and Shippensburg State Teacher's College, but opted to forego teaching for a stage career.
After becoming an actor, he worked on Broadway and in touring theatrical companies for many years prior to his 1930 film debut. He was in the original Broadway company of the 1922 play Seventh Heaven and would appear in the film remake (Seventh Heaven) in 1937. He starred with Donald Meek in a series of short mysteries based on S.S. Van Dine stories for Warner Bros. He was often typecast in the role of an authority figure; to wit, prison warden, judge, politician or police chief, but played various types of characters, appearing in over three hundred films, movie serials or television programs from the 1930s through the 1950s. He became much more widely known when he was cast as the irascible Daily Planet newspaper editor Perry White in the 1950s TV classic Adventures of Superman (1952). After that, he appeared in television commercials for a line of bifocals called "Inviso No-Line Glasses." (The idea was to render invisible the seam between the lenses "that tells the world you're over forty.")
Hamilton is often confused with John F. Hamilton, a British actor who made a few films in the United States during the same period, and with several other actors of the same name.
- United States Census records for 1900, Franklin County, Pennsylvania