Rondo Hatton (1894-1946) was an American actor remembered for his distinctive face, a result of acromegaly, which is a hormone disorder that results in an enlargement of the hands, feet, forehead, nose, and jaw (see also Richard Kiel).

Hatton's first career was as a reporter for the Tampa Tribune. He enlisted in the Army when the United States entered World War I. It has been widely speculated that his acromegaly resulted from exposure to mustard gas while in France, due to his condition developing shortly after his tour of duty. However, this has not been substantiated.

Returning to his job at the Tribune, Hatton first became interested in acting while covering the filming of Hell Harbor. He attracted the notice of director Henry King, who cast him in a minor role. Hatton later moved to Hollywood, using the condition of his face as a selling point for being cast.

Hatton appeared in a few high-profile pictures like The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Ox-Bow Incident as an non-credited background performer. His first major role was in The Pearl of Death (starring Basil Rathbone), where he debuted as the Hoxton Creeper. He would appear as the Creeper in two more films produced by Universal Studios before his death from a series of heart attacks resulted from his acromegaly.

Rondo Hatton's memory in show business has endured long after his death. He inspired the character Lothar in the Rocketeer graphic novel and film, and his name and likeness have been used for the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award since 2002.

Riffed Movies