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Rusty Hamer’s Life after ‘Make Room for Daddy’ – Low-Paying Jobs and Tragic Death at 42 without Funeral Service

Olowokandi Fiyin
Aug 21, 2021
02:40 A.M.
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Rusty Hamer is known for his role in the classic sitcom "Make Room For Daddy." However, after the show, he struggled to keep up with the industry until his tragic passing with no funeral.

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Rusty Hamer is best known for portraying the smarty-pants little son of Danny Williams [played by Danny Thomas]. He landed the role as a child and showed he was up to the task.

Hamer was a regular, and he maintained his role until the situation comedy show ended in 1964. Having gained public attention on the series, Hamer continued with his acting career, but, he found it difficult to bag roles.

Rusty Hamer at the Danny Thomas Show on August 2, 1957 | Photo: Getty Images

Rusty Hamer at the Danny Thomas Show on August 2, 1957 | Photo: Getty Images

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LIFE AFTER THE SHOW

At seventeen, Hamer was ready to move to the next phase of his career and continue with more significant roles in the movie industry. However, the youngster found himself appearing as a flat character.

He also reprised his Rusty Williams role during reunion specials and a spin-off that casts Hamer as a married medical student. The new show was titled "Make Room For Granddaddy," but it was not a huge success.

The spin-off ran from 1970-1971 and then got canceled. The young actor continued taking acting tutorials while working as a messenger to make ends meet. Unfortunately, he did not get any other stellar role in the long run.

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Actor Rusty Hamer poses for a portrait on January 01, 1955 | Photo: Getty Images

Actor Rusty Hamer poses for a portrait on January 01, 1955 | Photo: Getty Images

WHEN FAMILY DUTIES CALLED

After several attempts to revive his career, Hamer eventually decided to quit his Hollywood career and move back home, where he tended to his sick mom. Life did not get easier after he returned home.

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Paul Petersen set up an initiative to help former child stars who found it difficult to continue their acting careers.

Hamer had no financial backing, and he found it difficult to survive the clutches of wants and needs. He succumbed to menial jobs moving from delivering newspapers to working on an oil rig and getting a job in his brother's cafe.

A portrait of Rusty Hamer reading the papers on January 01, 1955 | Photo: Getty Images

A portrait of Rusty Hamer reading the papers on January 01, 1955 | Photo: Getty Images

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Hamer could not come to terms with how his fortune changed in his adult years, compared to how he enjoyed celebrity status as a child. This led him to dwell in depression and fall back on alcoholism.

INSIDE HAMER'S TRAGIC PASSING

By 1990, Hamer decided to end it all. The actor was said to have passed on from a self-inflicted gunshot—his brother opened up about how unhappy the child actor was.

He noted that Hamer was depressed throughout his 20's. The actor's body was found inside his trailer at DeRidder La. The late actor's co-star Danny Thomas referred to him as the "best boy actor" he ever worked with.

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A portrait of Rusty Hamer holding a document in his hand on January 01, 1958 | Photo: Getty Images

A portrait of Rusty Hamer holding a document in his hand on January 01, 1958 | Photo: Getty Images

Hamer landed his first film role at the tender age of 5. He also appeared in several of Abbott and Costello's films. He is said to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The actor was cremated without a funeral service.

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DETAILS OF THE INITIATIVE

Hamer's death prompted fellow former child star Paul Petersen to set up an initiative to help former child stars who found it difficult to continue their acting careers.

Petersen had shared that the importance of the initiative boils down to how former child stars could not get help when they needed it. He relayed that Hamer was sadly one of three child stars who committed suicide.

A portrait of Rusty Hamer looking and smiling at his image in a mirror on January 01, 1955 | Photo: Getty Images

A portrait of Rusty Hamer looking and smiling at his image in a mirror on January 01, 1955 | Photo: Getty Images

Actor Tim Hovi was said to be found lifeless in the elementary school he attended, while another child actor Trent Lehman committed suicide in his garage while nobody was home.

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