A deadpan, freckle-faced, curly-haired child actor of the late 50s, Rusty Hamer entered films at age 5 and became a precocious TV celebrity the very next year, trading quips with top comedian Danny Thomas as his lippy, obnoxious son, on the hit sitcom, Make Room for Daddy , in 1953. Playing 'second banana' to the star was no easy task, but this boy showed an incredibly sharp comedy sense for one so young. The show ran a healthy eleven seasons and, in 1964, Hamer, at age 17, found himself out of work for the first time. The talented kid had become an awkward teen and the offers dried up, immediately. He left Hollywood and came back only once, for Make Room for Granddaddy (1970), in 1971. The show was not successful, and nothing else came his way. The aimless, embittered man left for good this time and his life quickly fell apart. Left with no job skills, he had extreme difficulty finding direction, consequently living a wanderlust lifestyle, taking jobs that ranged from work on oil rigs to work in cafes. He became poverty-ridden, causing him to spiral into deep depression and, eventually, alcohol abuse, which led to an increasingly violent and delusional state. He shot himself to death in 1990 at the age of 42, chalking up another child star statistic who met a tragic, untimely end.
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