Pat Buttram

Maxwell Emmett Buttram (June 19, 1915 – January 8, 1994), professionally known as Pat Buttram, 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".

Pat Buttram
Buttram as Mr. Haney in Green Acres
Maxwell Emmett Buttram

(1915-06-19)June 19, 1915
DiedJanuary 8, 1994(1994-01-08) (aged 78)
Resting placeMaxwell Chapel, United Methodist Church, Haleyville, Alabama, U.S.
Alma materBirmingham-Southern College
OccupationActor, writer
Years active1944–1994
Political partyRepublican[1]
Dorothy McFadden
(m. 1936; div. 1946)

Sheila Ryan
(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.[2]


Buttram performed in college plays and on a local radio station, before he became a regular on the National Barn Dance broadcast on WLS (AM) in Chicago. He also had his own program on CBS.[3]

Buttram went to Hollywood in the 1940s and became a "sidekick" to Roy Rogers. However, since Rogers already had two regulars, Buttram was soon dropped.

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 The 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.[4]

Buttram made the oft-quoted observation about the 1971 "rural purge", in which CBS canceled many programs with a rural-related theme or setting: "CBS canceled everything with a tree in it – including Lassie", referring to the cancellations of Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction.[5]

Personal life

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.[1] 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".[1] 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'."[1]


Buttram died in 1994 at the age of 78 of renal failure in Los Angeles. He is interred at the cemetery at the Maxwell Chapel United Methodist Church in the Pebble community near Haleyville, Alabama.

In 1988, Buttram was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and one on the "Alabama Stars of Fame" in Birmingham.


Year Title Role Notes
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 Silver Canyon Pat
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 Apache Country 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 Roustabout Harry Carver
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
1970 The Aristocats Napoleon Voice
Animated film
1971 The Gatling Gun Tin Pot
1972 Evil Roy Slade Narrator TV movie
1973 Robin Hood Sheriff of Nottingham Voice
Animated film
1976 Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch Narrator
1977 The Rescuers Luke - swamp inhabitant Voice
Animated film
1979 Angels Brigade Used Car Salesman
1981 The Fox and the Hound Chief - hunting dog Voice
Animated film
1981 Choices Pops
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
Animated film
Dedicated to him, (final film role)

Partial television credits

Year(s) Series Role Episode(s)
1950–1955 The Gene Autry Show Pat 83 episodes
1961–1963 The Real McCoys Cousin Carl
Cousin Carl
Pat Clemens
Pat Clemens
"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
Mr. Haney
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"
1974 Emergency! Hermit "Floor Brigade"
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

See also

  • Biography portal



  1. "Terry Pace, "Pat Buttram: Homespun humorist, character actor, cowboy sidekick"". The Los Angeles Times, March 1, 2001. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  2. Wilson, Claire M. "Pat Buttram" on the Encyclopedia of Alabama website
  3. "KFLW (radio listing)". Herald and News. January 11, 1959. p. 51. Retrieved April 27, 2015 via
  4. "Hee HAw: Writers" on
  5. Quotation taken from 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.

Further reading

  • Grabman, Sandra. Pat Buttram, the Rocking Chair Humorist. Boalsburg: BearManor Media, 2006. ISBN 1-59393-067-4.

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