Rondo Hatton

Rondo Hatton

Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Death 2 Feb 1946 (aged 51)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Burial Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, USA
Memorial ID 22367 · View Source
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Actor. Rondo Hatton, the "monster who needed no makeup," was an American actor with small parts in Hollywood horror B-movies during the late 1930s through the 1940s. Although his career was short, he made a lasting impact on the horror movie industry. He was the older of two sons of school teachers Stewart Price and Emily Zarring Hatton. When he was a senior in high school, his family moved to Tampa, Florida to manage a family business. After graduation, he attended the University of Florida, was a member of the Florida National Guard and a sports reporter for the "Tampa Tribute". He stayed with the newspaper until the outbreak of World War I. After the war, he was hospitalized for a long period with a lung disorder related to exposure to Mustard Gas in France and was medically discharged with a pension. As a young adult, his facial features started to changes as a result of Acromegaly, a disease of the pituitary gland that causes severe disfigurement, debilitating complications, and even premature death from heart failure. At first, it was thought that Hatton's exposure to Mustard Gas caused his Acromegaly. With today's more advanced understanding of the disease, it is known that a tumor on the pituitary gland causes excessive growth hormone production resulting in the deformed bones and damage to other body organs. The actual cause of the tumor is unknown, but could be the related to chemical exposure. After his long hospitalization, Hatton returned to his position as a newspaper reporter. While Hatton was covering an assignment about the making of a horror movie, director Henry King spotted this disfigured man, offering him a small part in the movie, thus his acting career was launched. After relocating to Hollywood, he was under contract with Universal Studios and appeared in several horror B-movies including "The Brute Man", "The Creeper", "The Spider Woman Strikes Back", "House of Horrors", "The Pearl of Death" and several films in which he was not given credit. He married twice but blamed his facial disfigurement for ending his first marriage. As a patriotic veteran, he was very active with the Tampa American Legion and, as his disease progressed, he requested to be buried in their cemetery. Those who knew him said that he gained strength and comfort from his strong faith in God. At the age of 51 while nearly blind and suffering from being a diabetic, he died from a heart attack; all were complications of the disease that made him a horror movie star. In 1988, filmmaker Fred Olen Ray extensively researched Hatton's life, producing the sensitive article "Rondo Hatton: Monster Man". Over the years, Hatton's face has become the poster for Acromegaly and can be found even in medical textbooks. Since 2002, the annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards have been presented to the best DVD collection, the best DVD Commentary, the best Extra, and the best magazine article. Thousands of devoted Rondo Hatton fans follow these activities and awards.

Bio by: Linda Davis

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 16 May 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial 22367
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rondo Hatton (22 Apr 1894–2 Feb 1946), Find a Grave Memorial no. 22367, citing American Legion Cemetery, Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .