Tim Hovey

Tim Hovey (June 19, 1945 September 9, 1989) was a former American child actor during the 1950s. He later became a musician, road manager and an audio engineer for rock bands.

Tim Hovey
Born(1945-06-19)June 19, 1945
DiedSeptember 9, 1989(1989-09-09) (aged 44)
Cause of deathSuicide by overdose
Other namesTimothy Hovey
OccupationActor, musician, audio engineer and road manager
Years active19551989

Acting career

Born in Los Angeles, California, Hovey was discovered by a talent agent who saw his photo in the window of a photography shop.[1] In 1955, he made his acting debut in an episode of Lassie. Later that year, he made his film debut as Tiger Flaherty opposite Charlton Heston in The Private War of Major Benson.[2]

From 1955 to 1959, Hovey worked steadily in films and television, often playing characters younger than his real age due to his small stature.[1] In 1957, he was signed to a film contract with Universal-International. While working at U-I, Hovey appeared in the Westerns Slim Carter and Money, Women and Guns, both opposite Jock Mahoney.[3]

Hovey's final onscreen appearance was in an episode of the anthology series Schlitz Playhouse of the Stars, in 1959. Despite receiving an offer to appear in a Broadway play produced and directed by Otto Preminger, Hovey chose to retire from acting.[1]

Later years

In the 1970s and 1980s, Hovey lived in Northern California and worked with computers. He was also the road manager for the rock band Grateful Dead.[1] Hovey later learned how to play the slide guitar and would play with the band on occasion.[4] From 1971 to 1977, Hovey served as the chief audio engineer for the Grateful Dead and Kingfish, the side project of Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir.[5] He is credited as co-writer of "Important Exportin' Man" (with Dave Tobert), on the album The Adventures of Panama Red, by the New Riders of the Purple Sage.[4]


On September 9, 1989, Hovey died of an intentional drug overdose at his home in Watsonville, California.[1][6] Hovey's suicide, along with the suicides of fellow former child actors Trent Lehman and Rusty Hamer, prompted Paul Petersen to form the child actor advocacy group A Minor Consideration.[7]


Year Title Role Notes
1955 Lassie Malcolm 2 episodes
Credited as Timothy Hovey
1955 The Private War of Major Benson Cadet Thomas "Tiger" Flaherty
1955 The Colgate Comedy Hour Cadet Flaherty Episode #5.38
1955 Queen Bee Ted Phillips
1956 The Toy Tiger Timmie Harkinson
1956 Lux Video Theatre Austin Episode: "The Gay Sisters"
1956 Everything but the Truth Willie Taylor
1956 Playhouse 90 Donny Episode: "The Family Nobody Wanted"
1957 Man Afraid Michael Collins
1957 Slim Carter Leo Gallaher
1957 The Lux Show with Rosemary Clooney Himself Episode #1.11
1958 General Electric Theatre Frank Morgan Episode: "Kid at the Stick"
1958 Kraft Television Theatre Jeff Hillyer Episode: "Material Witness"
1958 Money, Women and Guns Davy Kingman
1958 Cimarron City Avery Wickham Episode: "Cimarron Holiday"
1959 Schlitz Playhouse of the Stars Timmy Parker Episode: "Ivy League"


  1. "Tim Hovey, 44; Child Actor in the 1950s". latimes.com. November 3, 1989. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  2. "Moppets In Movieland". The Miami News. Miami, Florida. August 25, 1957. p. 33. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  3. "Hovey-Mahoney Team". Toledo Blade. Toledo, Ohio. October 18, 1957. p. 52. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  4. Talevski, Nick (2010). Rock Obituaries - Knocking On Heaven's Door. Omnibus Press. p. 285. ISBN 0-857-12117-0.
  5. Lamparski, Richard (1982). Whatever Became Of-- ?: Eight Series: The Best (updated) and Newest of the Famous Lamparski Profiles of Personalities of Yesteryear. Crown Publishers. p. 285. ISBN 0-517-54346-X.
  6. Brioux, Bill (2007). "Ward, I'm Worried About the Beaver: TV Rumors Involving Child Stars". Truth and Rumors: The Reality Behind TV's Most Famous Myths. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-275-99247-7.
  7. Kubey, Robert William (2004). Creating Television: Conversations With the People Behind 50 Years Of American TV. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. p. 387. ISBN 0-8058-1077-3.


  • Holmstrom, John. The Moving Picture Boy: An International Encyclopaedia from 1895 to 1995, Norwich, Michael Russell, 1996, pp. 253–254.
  • Best, Marc. Those Endearing Young Charms: Child Performers of the Screen, South Brunswick and New York: Barnes & Co., 1971, pp. 116–121.
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