85 (passed away Sep. 24th, 1984)
Sep. 9th, 1899
Lynn, Massachusetts, USA
Neil Hamilton's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Neil Hamilton's show business career began when he secured a job as a shirt model in magazine ads. He became interested in acting and joined several stock companies. He got his first film role in 1918, but received his big break from D.W. Griffith in The White Rose (1923).
After performing in several more Griffith films, Hamilton was signed by Paramount in the late 1920s and soon became one of that studio's most popular leading men. His rugged good looks and sophisticated demeanor kept him steadily employed, and he worked for just about every studio in Hollywood, from glittering MGM to rock-bottom PRC. Hamilton worked steadily over the years, and grew gracefully into mature supporting parts. He is probably best known to modern-day audiences, however, as Police Commissioner Gordon in the TV series "Batman" (1966).
- By the mid-1940s, his personal and professional life were at such a low point that he was seriously considering committing suicide. His plan was to jump from the mountains above Santa Monica, but on his walk he met a priest and told him the whole story. The priest encouraged him to make a novena, instead. At the end of the nine days of prayer, he was offered an acting job from Universal Studios and never looked back.
- Strikingly handsome in his youth, Hamilton--along with 'John Barrymore (I)' (qv), 'Fredric March' (qv) and 'Brian Donlevy' (qv)--modeled as the Arrow (Shirt) Collar Man, and received more fan mail in the 1920s than box-office king 'Rudolph Valentino' (qv).
- Was the only member of the supporting cast of _"Batman" (1966)_ (qv) to be in every single episode of the series.
- Is the only actor to play Commissioner Gordon from the "Batman" franchise who shared the character's first name, James. Like both of his live-action successors (Martin Patterson Hingle ['Pat Hingle' (qv)] and Leonard Gary Oldman ['Gary Oldman' (qv)]), he goes by his middle name.
- An only child.
- Appeared on the Thanksgiving Day cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1918, marching beside (and hungrily eyeing) a turkey.
- He made 268 films, both sound and silent, and played opposite such stars as 'Joan Crawford (I)' (qv), 'Norma Shearer' (qv), 'Constance Bennett (I)' (qv), 'Ann Sothern' (qv) and 'Jean Arthur (I)' (qv).
- In _Since You Went Away (1944)_ (qv) he appears only in a photograph. All of his scenes were edited out and left on the cutting room floor before final release.
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