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Hutton as Ellery Queen.
|Born||Dana James Hutton
May 31, 1934
Binghamton, New York, U.S.
|Died||June 2, 1979
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Lynni M Solomon
Dana James "Jim" Hutton (May 31, 1934 – June 2, 1979) was an American actor in film and television probably best remembered for his role as Ellery Queen in the 1970s TV series of the same name. He was the father of actor Timothy Hutton.
Early life and career
Hutton was born in Binghamton, New York, the son of Helen and Thomas R. Hutton, an editor and managing editor of the Binghamton Press. 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. When he got out of the army he tried his luck in Hollywood; he auditioned for MGM who put him under a long term contract.
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.
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).
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.
Death and Academy Award dedication
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.
- Jim Hutton Started as a Starving Actor Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 Jan 1962: B4
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jim Hutton.|
- Jim Hutton at the Internet Movie Database
- Jim Hutton at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jim Hutton at Find a Grave