Maxwell Emmett Buttram as:
Pat Buttram was Autry's saddle pal after 'Smiley' Burnette left during WWI. He was one of the National Barn Dance performers during the 1930s, and ultimately went to Hollywood. In later years, he portrayed Mr. Haney on TV's GREEN ACRES. He was also the founder of the 'Golden Boot Awards' which honors western film performers.
Maxwell Emmett "Pat" Buttram, born June 19, 1915, in Addison, Alabama, the son of a Methodist Minister. Thinking to follow in his father's foot steps he went to Birmingham Southern College to study for the ministry. While in college, to help support himself he performed on a local radio station.
A month before his 18th birthday, Pat, left Alabama to attend the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. An announcer from radio station WLS was on hand to interview members of the crowd and settled on Pat as a typical visitor from the south. The interview that followed was anything but typical. Pat was so hilarious that he was immediately offered a job with the station. This began his non-stop adventure into show business. He did a regular comedy spot on the old "WLS National Barn Dance" program for 13 years billed as the "Winston County Flash". This is were Pat first met Gene Autry, who took a liking to the young comic. Both were a part of the very popular radio program which included other such names as Red Foley and the Hoosier Hotshots, and George Goble.
Pat Buttram left the WLS Barn Dance with an offer to go to Hollywood and be a sidekick to Roy Rogers. But after he got there it was decided that since Rogers already had two sidekicks, Pat was not needed. When his old friend Gene Autry heard of this he picked him up as his sidekick to replace Smiley Burnette, who had found other work while Gene served in WWII.
Together, Pat Buttram and Gene Autry made over 40 western films and 100 plus TV episodes for "The Gene Autry Show", which aired from 1950 to 1956. This was long before Pat's famous role as Mr. Haney on the television show "Green Acres", opposite Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor. Pat's career spanned the media from radio, television, and movies. Pat's distinctive voice appeared in several Walt Disney productions as Robin Hood, The Fox and the Hound, the Rescuers, and the Aristocats.
Throughout his career, Pat Buttram was in constant demand as a toastmaster and after dinner speaker, where his sophisticated wit belied his ingenuous appearance. Hollywood acknowledged Pat's contributions to the industry by awarding him a star on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame." Quoting Pat "Dad said if I continued in show business, I'd end up on the streets."
In 1982, Pat Buttram founded the "Golden Boot Awards" to honor actors, directors, stuntpeople who have made significant contributions to the Western film genre. One of the recipients of this award was former President Ronald Reagan. Proceeds from the annual event are donated to the Motion Picture Health and Welfare Fund.
On January 8, 1994, Pat Buttram died in California. He was brought back to Alabama and buried at Maxwell Chapel, the church founded by his grandparents and were he was raised.
< < < the trail BACK to Sidekicks . . .
Grandma's Recipes = $$$