Biography

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 westernclippings.com "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."

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 westernclippings.com "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."

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 85

Birthday 1888-10-09

Day of Death 1975-08-23

Place of Birth Springville, Alabama, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

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Acting TV ShowsMovies

1968 The Mod Squad (1 episode)
1967 The Guns of Will Sonnett (1 episode)
1967 Cimarron Strip (1 episode)
1967 Custer (1 episode)
1965 The Loner (1 episode)
1965 Laredo (1 episode)
1965 Green Acres (28 episodes)
1965 The Legend of Jesse James (1 episode)
1964 Daniel Boone (3 episodes)
1963 Petticoat Junction (11 episodes)
1963 Burke's Law (1 episode)
1962 The Beverly Hillbillies (1 episode)
1962 The Virginian (1 episode)
1961 Straightaway (1 episode)
1961 87th Precinct (1 episode)
1961 The Absent-Minded Professor as Fisherman spectator
1961 Miami Undercover (1 episode)
1961 Mister Ed (1 episode)
1960 The Andy Griffith Show (1 episode)
1960 The Tall Man (2 episodes)
1960 Gunfighters of Abilene as Andy Ferris
1959 The Alaskans (1 episode)
1959 The Twilight Zone (3 episodes) as Freitag
1959 Lock-Up (1 episode)
1959 The DuPont Show with June Allyson (1 episode)
1959 Riverboat (2 episodes)
1959 Black Saddle (1 episode)
1959 Rawhide (2 episodes)
1958 Monster on the Campus as Townsend - Night Watchman
1958 Bat Masterson (3 episodes)
1958 The Decks Ran Red as Moody
1958 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (1 episode)
1958 The Rifleman (1 episode)
1958 The Texan (1 episode)
1958 Bronco (1 episode)
1958 Earth vs. the Spider as Hugo the janitor
1958 Attack of the Puppet People as Theater janitor
1958 Sea Hunt (1 episode)
1957 The New Adventures of Spin and Marty (30 episodes)
1957 The Amazing Colossal Man as Henry
1957 Trackdown (1 episode)
1957 Perry Mason (1 episode)
1957 Have Gun – Will Travel (9 episodes)
1957 Beginning of the End as Dave
1957 The Storm Rider as Milstead
1956 Julie as Ellis
1956 Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater (2 episodes)
1956 Strange Intruder as Knife grinder
1955 Highway Patrol (1 episode)
1955 Sergeant Preston of the Yukon (1 episode)
1955 Navy Log (1 episode)
1955 Gunsmoke (32 episodes)
1955 The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (2 episodes)
1955 Tarantula as Josh
1955 Buffalo Bill, Jr. (3 episodes)
1955 Phantom Trails as Jess Morgan
1953 Jack Slade as Old Tom
1953 City Detective (1 episode)
1953 Blades of the Musketeers as The Old Fisherman
1952 Hopalong Cassidy (1 episode)
1952 Gang Busters (1 episode)
1951 Schlitz Playhouse of Stars (2 episodes)
1951 The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (3 episodes)
1951 Don Daredevil Rides Again as Buck Bender
1951 Silver City Bonanza as Postman
1950 Desperadoes of the West as Hardrock Haggerty [Ch. 4, 5]
1950 The Gunfighter as Jake (uncredited)
1950 Code of the Silver Sage as Sergeant Woods
1949 The Cowboy and the Indians as Ranch hand Tom
1949 The James Brothers of Missouri as Duffy [Ch. 4] / Duffy [11]
1949 Red Canyon as Osborne
1948 The Denver Kid as Sergeant Cooper
1948 Night Time in Nevada as Tramp
1948 Relentless as Bob Pliny
1948 Oklahoma Badlands as Postmaster Fred
1947 Under Colorado Skies as Slim
1947 Robin Hood Of Texas as Taxi Driver as Guest
1947 Springtime in the Sierras as Old-Timer
1947 Bells of San Angelo as Deaf bus passenger
1946 Santa Fe Uprising as Deputy Jake
1946 The El Paso Kid as Jeff Winters
1946 Abilene Town as Doug Neil
1940 Three Faces West as Pool Player
1939 Sabotage as Undetermined Supporting Role (uncredited)
1939 The Arizona Kid as Townsman

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