Raymond Hatton

Active - 1913 - 1991  |   Born - Jul 7, 1887   |   Died - Oct 21, 1971   |   Genres - Western, Drama, Action, Crime, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Looking for all the world like a beardless Rumpelstiltskin, actor Raymond Hatton utilized his offbeat facial features and gift for mimicry in vaudeville, where he appeared from the age of 12 onward. In films from 1914, Hatton was starred or co-starred in several of the early Cecil B. DeMille productions, notably The Whispering Chorus (1917), in which the actor delivered a bravura performance as a man arrested for murdering himself. Though he played a vast array of characters in the late teens and early 1920s, by 1926 Hatton had settled into rubeish character roles. He was teamed with Wallace Beery in several popular Paramount comedies of the late silent era, notably Behind the Front (1926) and Now We're in the Air (1927). Curiously, while Beery's career skyrocketed in the 1930s, Hatton's stardom diminished, though he was every bit as talented as his former partner. In the 1930s and 1940s, Hatton showed up as comic sidekick to such western stars as Johnny Mack Brown and Bob Livingston. He was usually cast as a grizzled old desert rat, even when (as in the case of the "Rough Riders" series with Buck Jones and Tim McCoy) he happened to be younger than the nominal leading man. Raymond Hatton continued to act into the 1960s, showing up on such TV series as The Abbott and Costello Show and Superman and in several American-International quickies. Raymond Hatton's last screen appearance was as the old man collecting bottles along the highway in Richard Brooks' In Cold Blood (1967).

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