She was impressed by talent on stage and suggested that he audition for a role in Thomas' upcoming television series, Make Room for Daddy.
Rusty won the part and was cast as the wise-cracking, somewhat bratty son of Danny Williams, the night club entertainer played by Danny Thomas on the show, When the family comedy premiered on the ABC network on September 29, 1953, Rusty was just six years old.
After The Danny Thomas Show ceased production, Rusty enrolled at Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles. Alas, Rusty's optimism about his future was unwarranted.
He had difficulty adjusting from a film lot school to a public school Danny Thomas told the Los Angeles Times that Rusty "had been one of only two students in a studio classroom. Few job offers came his way except for guest spots and reprising his Rusty Williams role.
In 1976, Rusty Hamer moved to southwestern Louisiana to be closer to his ailing mother, Dorothy, who suffered from Alzheimer's Disease.
At the time, Dorothy was living with Rusty's older brother, John, in the town of De Ridder (about 40 miles north of Lake Charles).
Rusty was born Russell Craig Hamer in Tenafly New Jersey on February 15, 1947.
When the series ended in 1964, he was an awkward 17-year-old.
Below is a photo of the cast Make Room for Granddaddy: Front row Left to Right, Michael Hughes, who played Danny's grandson Michael,, and Marjorie Lord.
Top Row Left to Right: Rusty Hamer, Angela Cartwright and Danny Thomas.
We will select participants to come to the stage and audition via a random draw.
Where: Center Court at the Streets at Southpoint6910 Fayetteville Road Durham, NC 27713We will begin handing out applications one hour before the show begins. Everyone who attends the event will be able to submit an application.