Tom Hatten Bio
Tom Hatten (November 14, 1926 – March 16, 2019) was an American radio, film and television personality, known as the long-time host of The Popeye Show (originally The Pier Point 5 Club) and Family Film Festival on KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles in the 1960s through the ’80s. He also appeared in dozens of musicals, movies and television shows.
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Tom Hatten Quick Wiki/Bio
|Born||November 14, 1926
Jamestown, North Dakota
|Died||March 16, 2019 (aged 92)|
|Occupation||Actor, TV Kids’ Show Host, Radio Broadcaster|
Tom Hatten Early life
Hatten was born in Jamestown, North Dakota. He served in the United States Navy during World War II and used the GI Bill to study acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. He graduated cum laude in 1950.
The Popeye Show Tom Hatten
In 1952, Hatten started working as a broadcaster at KTLA in Hollywood. He was a newscaster and announcer when the station launched the afternoon children’s show, The Pier 5 Club, with Hatten as Skipper Tom, in September 1956. He followed “Skipper Frank” Herman who appeared earlier in the afternoon with Cartoon Carouse.
Dressed in Navy whites, Hatten presented the animated works of Max and Dave Fleischer, easily obtained from a Paramount affiliate, starring as the spinach eating Popeye. A skilled artist and cartoonist, Hatten’s show included how to segments that taught how to draw the cartoon characters. Guests appeared on each program, and were given a large upright easel and sketch pad. They would draw what Hatten called a “Squiggle”. Then Tom would create a drawing incorporating the squiggle without crossing any of the squiggle’s lines. Hatten hosted two later versions of the show and told anecdotes about the Fleischers, the cartoons, or their studios.
The Pier 5 Club was given a more elaborate studio set and was renamed The Popeye Show. Hatten was dressed as a harbor master in a structure resembling a marina. The squiggle contest was retained and the show expanded to an hour. King Features created a new series of Popeye cartoons for the show. Jack Mercer, who had replaced William Costello (aka “Red Pepper” Sam) as the voice of Fleischer’s Popeye, visited the show to recognize Hatten as the biggest promoter of the Max and Dave Fleischer Studio.
The demise of The Pier 5 Club came in 1964 when Hatten left KTLA. In 1976, however, he returned to the station and revived the series as Popeye and His Friends, which ran until 1988.
Following the end of the Popeye program, Hatten was host of KTLA’s Family Film Festival.
Family Film Festival Tom Hatten
The Family Film Festival was a weekend afternoon feature on KTLA 5 between 1978 and 1992, with Hatten screening a classic movie, often from the 40’s, 50’s or 60’s. During breaks in the show, he would offer anecdotes about the film’s history or its actors, or even conduct brief interviews with a cast or crew member (a practice that originally predated the cable networks American Movie Classics and Turner Classic Movies; see those articles for details). Many “Gen X”-aged men and women, born throughout the 1970s and raised in Los Angeles, were introduced to the films of Jerry Lewis, The Little Rascals, and Pippi Longstocking as well as animated films as Gay Purr-ee, Hoppity Goes to Town, The Phantom Tollbooth, Once Upon a Time and Star Blazers, through Hatten’s Family Film Festival. The Little River Band’s song Reminiscing was used as bumper music.
Tom Hatten Career
Hatten’s acting credits include portraying a corrupt US Army General in the film Spies Like Us, with Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase. He appeared as Captain Murdock in several episodes of the television show Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., and had a minor role as an officer in three episodes of Hogan’s Heroes. Hatten provided the voice of the character Farmer Fitzgibbons in the animated movie The Secret of NIMH.
On stage, in 1959, Hatten performed in a Los Angeles production of The Billy Barnes Revue concurrently with hosting the Popeye TV show. He portrayed Horace Vandergelder in the West Coast Opera Theatre’s production of Hello Dolly in 1991. He also appeared in a touring production of the musical, Annie as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
For nearly 20 years, Hatten worked as an award-winning entertainment reporter for KNX 1070 Newsradio in Los Angeles, filing regular reports on the movie industry, new films, and celebrity news. He left the station in 2007.
Hatton served on the board of the National Student Film Institute and was a frequent presenter at its annual film festival.
Tom Hatten Death and Cause
Hatten died on March 16, 2019 at the age of 92.
Jese Bal born Nov 9, 1982, is a novelist and poet. He has published novels, volumes of poetry, short stories, and drawings. His works are distinguished by the use of a spare style and have been compared to those of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino.