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Rusty Hamer
Born February 15, 1947(1947-02-15)
Tenafly, New Jersey, U.S.
Died January 18, 1990 (aged 42)
DeRidder, Louisiana, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1953 – 1971

Rusty Hamer (February 15, 1947 – January 18, 1990) was an American television actor best known for his role as Rusty Williams in the popular sitcom Make Room for Daddy.



Born in Tenafly, New Jersey, Hamer grew up on TV as Rusty Williams, Danny Thomas's freckle-faced son on Make Room for Daddy. As a young five-year-old actor, his wisecracking behavior made him a popular character during the show's 351-episode run. Thomas, who could occasionally be spotted trying not to crack up in Hamer's scenes, would later publicly praise Hamer's extraordinary comic timing.

Hamer attempted a brief return to show business in 1970 as a married medical student in the show Make Room for Grandaddy, a sequel of Make Room for Daddy, but the show was canceled after one season. He appeared occasionally in bit parts on television shows such as Green Acres, but work became increasingly sporadic. Hamer eventually moved to Louisiana where he worked as a short order cook.[1]


On January 18, 1990, Hamer died at age 42 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in DeRidder, Louisiana.[2] His death raised awareness of the potential mental fragility of child performers, and inspired fellow child actor Paul Petersen to found A Minor Consideration, a support group striving to improve working conditions for young actors, as well as assisting former child stars in making the transition from past fame to adult life.[3]

For his contribution to television, Hamer earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located on 6323 Hollywood Boulevard.


Year Film Role Notes
1953 Fort Ti Jed's Nephew Uncredited
1956 Dance with Me, Henry Duffer
Year Title Role Notes
1953-1964 Make Room for Daddy Rusty Williams 351 episodes
1954 Four Star Playhouse Dickie 1 episode
Shower of Stars Rusty 1 episode
1958 The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour Rusty Williams 1 episode
Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse Rusty Williams 1 episode
1961 The Red Skelton Show Guest drummer 1 episode
1965 The Joey Bishop Show Rusty Williams 3 episodes
1967 The Danny Thomas Hour Rusty 1 episode
1969 Green Acres Alfred 1 episode
1970-1971 Make Room for Granddaddy Rusty Williams 24 episodes


  1. ^ Kubey, Robert William (2004). Creating Television: Conversations With the People Behind 50 Years Of American TV. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. pp. 387. ISBN 0-805-81077-3.  
  2. ^ Associated Press. " Rusty Hamer, Actor, 42", The New York Times, January 20, 1990. Accessed December 17, 2007.
  3. ^ "In Ten Year's Time". Retrieved 2009-10-03.  

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