He possessed deformed facial features, the result of a gland disorder, which made him perfect for many B-movie villain roles. His films include Raiders of Ghost City, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and The Black Swan.
He was working as a reporter for the Tampa Tribune, covering Hollywood, when a film director spotted him and offered him a role.
His film parts were mostly small and uncredited, with the studio publicity often attributing his looks to a World War I mustard-gas attack.
He was an only child, born to Stewart and Emily Hatton in Hagerstown, Maryland. His father opened a business in Tampa, Florida, where they moved in 1912.
His distinctive looks made him memorable far beyond his small parts. He was mentioned in the 1970s series, The Rockford Files, which starred James Garner.