Jim Hutton

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This article is about actor Jim Hutton. For the hairdresser with whom singer Freddie Mercury had a long-term relationship, see Freddie Mercury#Relationships.
Jim Hutton
Jim Hutton Ellery Queen 1976.JPG
Hutton as Ellery Queen.
Born Dana James Hutton
(1934-05-31)May 31, 1934
Binghamton, New York, U.S.
Died June 2, 1979(1979-06-02) (aged 45)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
liver cancer
Years active 1958–1979
Spouse(s) Marline Poole
(1958–1963; divorced)
Lynni M Solomon
(1970–1973; divorced)

Dana James "Jim" Hutton (May 31, 1934 – June 2, 1979) was an American actor in film and television best remembered for his role as Ellery Queen in the 1970s TV series of the same name and his screen partnership with Paula Prentiss in 5 films, starting with Where the Boys Are. He was the father of actor Timothy Hutton.

Early life and career[edit]

Hutton was born in Binghamton, New York, the son of Helen and Thomas R. Hutton, an editor and managing editor of the Binghamton Press.,[1] but did not know his father due to his parent's divorce at infancy. Hutton was in and out of 5 high schools due to behavior problems but had excellent grades and test scores. After starting his school newspaper's sports column, he earned a scholarship in journalism from Syracuse University. He was expelled from both Syracuse and Niagara University and pursued his career as an actor in Greenwich Village.

Hutton served in the military and starred in over 40 army training films before going to Berlin to serve in special service. Hutton personally the American Community Theater by spearheading the renovation theaters abandoned during World War II. Hutton was performing in live theater in Germany while with the United States Army when he was spotted by American film director Douglas Sirk. Sirk used him in a small role in a film and secured the promise of a contract with Universal. When he got out of the army, that contract expired, but he was eventually signed by MGM who put him under a long term contract.[2]


One of his earliest screen appearances was in an episode of The Twilight Zone (1959), in which he co-starred with Rod Taylor. In Hollywood, he gained recognition with teen audiences for his role in the college student film Where the Boys Are (1960), where he appeared with Paula Prentiss, an actress he would be teamed with in several of his early films, in part because they were the tallest contract players of their time (Hutton at 6'5" and Prentiss at 5'10"). He appeared with Prentiss in The Honeymoon Machine late in 1960, followed by 1961's Bachelor in Paradise starring Bob Hope and Lana Turner, and finally The Horizontal Lieutenant in 1962. In 1966, Hutton gained a wider audience in Walk, Don't Run with Samantha Eggar and Cary Grant (in Grant's last feature-film appearance). Due to his tall, gangly frame and the absent-minded quality of his delivery, Hutton was viewed as a successor to James Stewart.

In addition to being a gifted comedic actor, Hutton also took on dramatic roles. Although he had some serious scenes in Sam Peckinpah's 1965 western Major Dundee, there were reoccurring humorous scenes throughout the first half of the film portraying his character as an ineffectual officer. He returned to more straight comedic roles in 1965's The Hallelujah Trail also starring in 1967's Who's Minding the Mint?. In 1968, Hutton appeared in the John Wayne acted/directed war drama, The Green Berets, in which Hutton played a Special Forces sergeant in a mix of comedy and drama, with a memorable booby trap scene. Also in 1968, Hutton appeared with John Wayne in Hellfighters, playing the role of Greg Parker. The movie was loosely based on the career of oil-well firefighter Red Adair. One of his last leading roles was in the cult horror film Psychic Killer (1975), which was directed by Ray Danton.


In the early 1970s, Hutton began working almost exclusively in television and played fictional amateur detective Ellery Queen in the 1975 made-for-television movie and 1975-1976 television series, Ellery Queen. Hutton's co-star in the series (set in 1946-1947 New York City) was David Wayne, who portrayed his widowed father, an NYPD homicide detective. Ellery, a writer of murder mysteries, assisted his father as an amateur, each week solving an "actual" murder case. Near the end of each story before revealing the solution, he would "break the fourth wall" by giving the audience a brief review of the clues and asking if they had solved the mystery.


Hutton was married to Maryline Adams (née Poole), who was a teacher. They had two children: a daughter, Heidi (born 1959), and a son, actor Timothy Hutton (born 1960). They divorced in 1963 and in 1970, he married Lynni Solomon and had daughter Punch Hutton (Deputy Fashion Editor of Vanity Fair). He had an intermittent (and often scandalous) 15 year relationship with Yvette Vickers.

Death and Academy Award dedication[edit]

On June 2, 1979, Jim Hutton died in Los Angeles from liver cancer, two days after his 45th birthday. A year and a half later, his son, actor Timothy Hutton, dedicated his 1980 Academy Award, which he had won for his role in the 1980 movie Ordinary People, to his father.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Jim Hutton Started as a Starving Actor Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 Jan 1962: B4
  3. ^ Timothy Hutton Oscar acceptance speech

External links[edit]