Hamilton was born in Topeka, Kansas in 1880. (His birth year is sometimes listed as either 1879 or 1883.) He was married to three actresses, Jane Oaker, Myrtle Tannehill, and Grace La Rue. Tannehill sued Hamilton, accusing him of being lured away from her by La Rue.
He died in 1942 of a cerebral hemorrhage in Hollywood, California.