Image of Hank Patterson

Hank Patterson

Hank Patterson (born Elmer Calvin Patterson; October 9, 1888 – August 23, 1975) was an American actor and musician. He is known foremost for playing two recurring characters on three television series: the stableman Hank Miller on Gunsmoke and farmer Fred Ziffel on both Petticoat Junction and Green Acres. 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 popular juvenile TV westerns such as The Cisco Kid, The Adventures of Kit Carson, The Lone Ranger, and Annie Oakley. Patterson played recurring or different roles in adult/family TV westerns, including the role of "Hank Miller" in 33 episodes of Gunsmoke from 1962 through 1972, on Have Gun-Will Travel (eleven 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, Bonanza, and in episodes of Lawman, Bat Masterson, The Restless Gun, 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, My Three Sons, and in later years The Mod Squad and Love, American Style.Highway Patrol. 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 fame. In 1965 and 1966—two of the years in which the two series ran concurrently—Patterson frequently appeared in both shows in 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 "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."

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Oct 9, 1888 In Springville, Alabama, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie The Arizona Kid 1939-09-28
Latest Project:
Series The Mod Squad 1968-09-24
Known For
Poster of The Andy Griffith Show
Poster of Gunfighters of Abilene
Poster of Perry Mason
Poster of Tarantula
Series The Mod Squad Unknown 1968-09-24
Series Custer Unknown 1967-09-06
Series Cimarron Strip Unknown 1967-09-07
Series The Guns of Will Sonnett Unknown 1967-09-08
Series The Legend of Jesse James Unknown 1965-09-13
Series Green Acres Unknown 1965-09-15
Series The Loner Unknown 1965-09-18
Series Laredo Unknown 1965-09-16
Series Daniel Boone Unknown 1964-09-24
Series Burke's Law Unknown 1963-09-20
Series Petticoat Junction Unknown 1963-09-24
Series The Beverly Hillbillies Unknown 1962-09-26
Series The Virginian Unknown 1962-09-19
Series Miami Undercover Unknown 1961-01-23
Series Mister Ed Unknown 1961-01-05
Series 87th Precinct Unknown 1961-09-25
Movie The Absent-Minded Professor Fisherman spectator 1961-03-16
Series Straightaway Unknown 1961-10-06
Series The Tall Man Unknown 1960-09-10
Movie Gunfighters of Abilene Andy Ferris 1960-01-01
Series The Andy Griffith Show Unknown 1960-10-03
Series Black Saddle Unknown 1959-01-10
Series Rawhide Unknown 1959-01-09
Series Riverboat Unknown 1959-09-13
Movie No Name on the Bullet Ed - Chess Player (uncredited) 1959-02-01
Series The DuPont Show with June Allyson Unknown 1959-09-21
Series The Twilight Zone Mr. Gentry 1959-10-02
Series The Alaskans Unknown 1959-10-04
Series Lock-Up Unknown 1959-09-28
Series Bronco Unknown 1958-09-23
Movie Earth vs. the Spider Hugo the janitor 1958-09-01
Series Sea Hunt Unknown 1958-01-04
Series The Texan Unknown 1958-09-29
Movie Attack of the Puppet People Theater janitor 1958-04-01
Movie The Decks Ran Red Moody 1958-10-10
Series The Rifleman Unknown 1958-09-30
Movie Monster on the Campus Townsend - Night Watchman 1958-12-17
Series Bat Masterson Unknown 1958-10-08
Series Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse Unknown 1958-10-06
Series Have Gun, Will Travel Unknown 1957-09-14
Series Perry Mason Unknown 1957-09-21
Movie The Storm Rider Milstead 1957-03-01
Movie Beginning of the End Dave 1957-06-28
Series Trackdown Unknown 1957-10-04
Series The New Adventures of Spin and Marty Unknown 1957-11-04
Movie The Amazing Colossal Man Henry 1957-10-25
Movie Strange Intruder Knife Grinder 1956-09-02
Series Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater Unknown 1956-10-05
Movie Julie Ellis 1956-10-17
Series Buffalo Bill, Jr. Unknown 1955-03-01
Movie Phantom Trails Jess Morgan 1955-01-01
Series Gunsmoke Unknown 1955-09-10
Series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp Unknown 1955-09-06
Series Navy Log Unknown 1955-09-20
Series Sergeant Preston of the Yukon Unknown 1955-09-29
Series Highway Patrol Unknown 1955-10-03
Movie Tarantula Josh 1955-12-14
Movie Ride Clear of Diablo Wagon Driver (uncredited) 1954-02-10
Movie Canadian Mounties vs. Atomic Invaders Jed Larson 1953-07-08
Movie Blades of the Musketeers The Old Fisherman 1953-01-01
Series City Detective Unknown 1953-09-07
Movie Jack Slade Old Tom 1953-11-08
Series Gang Busters Unknown 1952-03-20
Series Hopalong Cassidy Unknown 1952-09-19
Movie Don Daredevil Rides Again Buck Bender 1951-04-10
Movie Silver City Bonanza Postman 1951-03-01
Series The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok Unknown 1951-04-15
Series Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Unknown 1951-10-05
Movie No Sad Songs for Me Night Construction Workman (uncredited) 1950-04-27
Movie Code of the Silver Sage Sergeant Woods 1950-03-25
Movie The Gunfighter Jake (uncredited) 1950-06-23
Movie Desperadoes of the West Hardrock Haggerty 1950-08-02
Movie Red Canyon Osborne 1949-05-05
Movie The Cowboy and the Indians Ranch hand Tom 1949-09-15
Movie The James Brothers of Missouri Duffy [Ch. 4] / Duffy [11] 1949-08-31
Movie Oklahoma Badlands Postmaster Fred 1948-02-22
Movie Relentless Bob Pliny 1948-06-15
Movie Night Time in Nevada Tramp 1948-09-05
Movie The Denver Kid Sergeant Cooper 1948-09-30
Movie Springtime in the Sierras Old-Timer 1947-07-15
Movie Bells of San Angelo Deaf bus passenger 1947-04-15
Movie Robin Hood Of Texas Taxi Driver 1947-07-15
Movie Under Colorado Skies Slim 1947-12-15
Movie Abilene Town Doug Neil 1946-01-11
Movie The El Paso Kid Jeff Winters 1946-05-22
Movie Santa Fe Uprising Deputy Jake 1946-11-15
Movie Three Faces West Pool Player 1940-07-03
Movie The Arizona Kid Townsman 1939-09-28
Movie Sabotage (uncredited) 1939-10-13