Marion Hutton

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Marion Hutton
Marion Hutton.jpg
Marion Hutton in a 1944 advertisement
Born Marion Thornburg
(1919-03-10)March 10, 1919
Battle Creek, Michigan
United States
Died January 10, 1987(1987-01-10) (aged 67)
Kirkland, Washington
United States
Cause of death Cancer
Occupation Singer
Spouse(s) Jack Philbin, Jack Douglas, Vic Schoen

Marion Hutton (March 10, 1919 – January 10, 1987) was a United States singer and actress. She is best remembered by her singing with the Glenn Miller Orchestra from 1938-1942.

Early life[edit]

Born as Marion Thornburg, she was the elder sister of actress Betty Hutton. Their father abandoned the family when they were both young; he later committed suicide. Their mother worked a variety of jobs to support the family until she became a successful bootlegger.[1] Both sisters sang with the Vincent Lopez Orchestra.[2]

Discovery by Glenn Miller[edit]

Hutton was discovered by Glenn Miller and was invited to join the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1938. "I was only seventeen then [...] and so Glenn and Helen [Miller] became my legal guardians. He was like a father because I never had a father I remembered."[3] Hutton was not allowed to sing in the nightclubs due to the fact she was underage. Glenn Miller and his wife Helen Burger Miller signed papers to officially declare themselves foster parents in order to serve as Hutton’s charperone in the nightclubs which allowed her access in these venues. Marion Hutton considered herself more an entertainer than a singer.[4] Hutton remained an important part of the Miller band.[5] She remained with Miller on and off until the orchestra disbanded in 1942.

Film career[edit]

Hutton with Mel Torme, Jerry Wald and Gordon MacRae in 1947.

Jeanine Basinger, a film historian and professor at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, refers to Marion Hutton in her chapter on Marion's younger sister, actress and singer Betty Hutton in the 2007 book The Star Machine. Basinger feels that in the early forties, Marion was more popular than her sister Betty.[6] Marion Hutton had a small role in the film Orchestra Wives (1942; Twentieth Century Fox), in which the Glenn Miller Orchestra starred. After Glenn Miller joined the Army in 1942, she went with fellow Miller performers Tex Beneke and the Modernaires on a theater tour.[7] The next important event in her entertainment career was a role in In Society with Abbott and Costello in the mid-1940s. Marion Hutton appeared with the Desi Arnaz orchestra in October 1947 at the Radio City Theatre in Minneapolis.[8] As the 1940s wound down, so did Marion's career.[9] Her last film role was in 1949, acting in the Marx Brothers' Love Happy.

Personal life[edit]

Hutton was married three times. She married publicist and future Jackie Gleason television producer Jack Philbin in 1940. She and Philbin had two sons, John and Phillip. Her next marriage, to writer Jack Douglas, produced a third son, Peter. Peter Hemming is a noted photojournalist. Marion Hutton's last marriage was in 1954 to Vic Schoen, an arranger for the Andrews Sisters and Bing Crosby, among other artists in the 1940s.[10] Looking back on her first marriage, in 1974 she told George T. Simon, "[W]hat I wanted most of all was to be a wife and mother. I had no drive for a career."[11]

In 1965 according to the New York Times, Marion Hutton sought treatment for various addictions. Hutton went back to school in her late fifties. She received two psychology degrees and found work at a local hospital.[12] In 1981 with increasing financial problems Marion Hutton and her husband Vic Schoen moved from Irvine, CA to Kirkland, WA (a suburb of Seattle) and founded Residence XII, a drug addiction center to help alcoholics and addicts. She was the executive director. Schoen and Hutton performed many fund raisers for this addiction center. Hutton and Schoen had both struggled with alcoholism and in the 1970s both were finally able to quit drinking and joined AA. They attended meetings regularly until the late 1980s and helped many struggling alcoholics by recounting their anecdotes and life lessons they had learned throughout the years. Schoen arranged music for Glenn Miller Remembered, a PBS production video taped in Seattle, 1984, starring Tex Beneke and Marion Hutton.


Marion Hutton died of cancer on January 10, 1987.[13] [14]


  • 1942 "That's Sabotage" with Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, Victor


  1. ^ Marion Hutton biodata
  2. ^ "Boisterous 'Blonde Bombshell' star of 'Annie Get Your Gun' whose career ended in bathos"
  3. ^ Simon, George T. (1980). Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. New York: DaCapo. p. 139. ISBN 0-306-80129-9. 
  4. ^ Simon, p. 139
  5. ^ Simon, pp. 260-61
  6. ^ This book is a study of the studio system in Hollywood.
  7. ^ Simon, p. 314
  8. ^ "Solid: Marion Hutton"
  9. ^ Basinger, Jeanine (2007). The Star Machine. Knopf. p. 493. ISBN 1-4000-4130-9. 
  10. ^ "Solid: Vic Schoen"
  11. ^ Simon, p. 224
  12. ^ "Whatever became of: Marion Hutton". The Milwaukee Journal. 31 May 1983. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  13. ^ Obituary in The New York Times
  14. ^ Mother of photojournalist Peter Hemming citation

External links[edit]