About Elmer Calvin "Hank" Patterson
Hank Patterson (born Elmer Calvin Patterson; October 9, 1888 – August 23, 1975) was an American actor and musician. He is most known for playing stableman Hank Miller on Gunsmoke and Fred Ziffel on Petticoat Junction and Green Acres.
Patterson was born in Springville, Alabama. He had intended to be a serious pianist, but became instead a vaudeville piano player, eventually moving to Hollywood where he played in a series of movies, largely Westerns and science fiction from 1939 to 1973. He also played in a number of television westerns including The Cisco Kid, The Adventures of Kit Carson, The Lone Ranger, Annie Oakley, Have Gun-Will Travel, The Rifleman and Bonanza. He was also in a couple of episodes of Cheyenne, Maverick, Lawman and Daniel Boone.
Hank's great-grandfather, James Pearson, was an original settler of St. Clair County, Alabama as was his mother's great-grandfather, Thomas Newton. Between 1894 & 1897, the family left Alabama to live in Taylor, Texas where Hank attempted to work as a serious musician only to settle for playing piano in traveling vaudeville shows.
Patterson's great-niece is actress Téa Leoni.