Elmer the cross-eyed cat

Who’d ever think that a barnyard cat handicapped by being cross-eyed and misnamed Elmer would earn a free trip to Hollywood for Mendon, Ohio, farmer Larry Hamilton in 1958?

Elmer would go to Hollywood and take on the title role in “My Aunt’s Cat, Ralph,” a CBS-TV series filmed for the”The Millionaire” in the fall of 1958, over 60 years ago.

Elmer when cast had just become the mother of a new litter, she won her casting call over 568 other felines whose owners had submitted photographs to the TV show’s story editor, Milton Merlin . Merlin had launched a nationwide hunt for a cat to star in the show.

Elmer (who was actually a female) was a cross-eyed Calico which looked “unwanted” enough to fit the story.  She got the part thanks to Joe O. Riley, who was state editor of the Lima News at the time who had contacted Merlin.

No where in internet world can you find what happened to Elmer after that episode, but the next time you are in the Mendon area and you happen to see a calico cat pass your path, think of Elmer, it might be her great-great-great-great grand-kitten.

Buy the official photo of Elmer on ebay that was used to promote her for the show:

Buy the picture above on ebay – it’s listed for $11.00

The Millionaire – 29 Oct. 1958 Season 5 episode 9

Summary of ‘The Millionaire’ story-line-

Soon after an old spinster lady becomes a “Tipton-made Millionaire”, she dies, leaving her estate to her cat, Ralph. The old woman’s nephew Freddie Howard is to take care of the feline at a fabulous annual stipend allotted. Freddie’s fiancée dislikes Ralph though, who suddenly runs away. Without him, the rest of the inheritance will go to a cat hospital.

Unable to locate on You Tube the episode with Elmer…but here is an episode you can view of The Millionaire (aired on CBS from 1955 to 1960).

Did you know…

  • On the Lassie TV series the lead roll was played by a male dog
  • Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion was a 1965 film and later he appeared in the TV series ‘Daktari’