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Will Hutchins

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Will Hutchins
Hutchins in 1971
Marshall Lowell Hutchason

(1930-05-05) May 5, 1930 (age 94)
Alma materPomona College
Years active1941, 1956–2010
Chrissie Burnett
(m. 1965; div. 1969)
Barbara Torres
(m. 1988)
AwardsGolden Boot Awards (2002)[1]
Stone-Waterman Award (2004) – Cincinnati Old Time Radio Convention
Publicity still with 1959 Warner Bros. series leads Will Hutchins (Sugarfoot), Peter Brown (Lawman), Jack Kelly (Maverick), Ty Hardin (Bronco), James Garner (Maverick), Wayde Preston (Colt .45), and John Russell (Lawman)

Will Hutchins (born Marshall Lowell Hutchason; May 5, 1930) is an American actor most noted for playing the lead role of the young lawyer Tom Brewster, in the Western television series Sugarfoot, which aired on ABC from 1957 to 1961 for 69 episodes.

Early life[edit]

Hutchins was born in the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles. As a child, he visited the location filming of Never Give a Sucker an Even Break and made his first appearance as an extra in a crowd.[2]

He attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he majored in Greek drama. He also studied at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he enrolled in cinema classes.

During the Korean War, he served for two years in the United States Army Signal Corps as a cryptographer in Paris, serving as a Corporal with SHAPE.[3] Following his enlistment he enrolled as a graduate student at UCLA in their Cinema Arts department on the G. I. Bill.[4]

Hutchins began acting and got a role on Matinee Theatre.


Warner Bros.[edit]

Hutchins was discovered by a talent scout for Warner Bros., who changed his name from Marshall Lowell Hutchason to Will Hutchins. The young actor's easygoing manner was compared to Will Rogers, the Oklahoma humorist.[5]

His contract led him to guest appearances in Warner Bros. Television programs, such as Conflict, in which he appeared in three hour-long episodes, including his screen debut as Ed Masters in "The Magic Brew" on October 16, 1956.

Hutchins was also cast as a guest star on Cheyenne, Bronco, Maverick and 77 Sunset Strip.[6]

He had small roles in the Warners movies Bombers B-52 (1957), Lafayette Escadrille (1958), and No Time for Sergeants (1958) where he screen tested for the lead of Will Stockdale with James Garner playing the psychiatrist.[7]


Hutchins leapt to national fame in the lead of Sugarfoot, in which he played a frontier lawyer with intermittent comedic overtones. During the series' run he guest-starred on other Warner Bros shows such as The Roaring 20's, Bronco, and Surfside 6. He was the lead guest star in an episode of Maverick entitled "Bolt from the Blue" written and directed by Robert Altman and starring Roger Moore as Beau Maverick.

Warners tried him in the lead of a feature, Young and Eager (1961) aka Claudelle Inglish with Diane McBain.

He tried another pilot for a series, Howie, that was not picked up and appeared with Jeff Chandler in the Warners war film Merrill's Marauders (1962), a picture filmed in the Philippine Islands and Chandler's last acting role. After this, Hutchins left Warners.


Hutchins guest-starred on Gunsmoke and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

While appearing in a play in Chicago in late 1963, he was flown to Los Angeles to shoot a television pilot for MGM, Bert I. Gordon's Take Me to Your Leader, in which Hutchins played a Martian salesman who came to Earth. Though the pilot was not picked up, it led MGM to sign him for Spinout, in which he co-starred as Lt. Tracy Richards ("Dick Tracy" transposed) alongside Elvis Presley.

Also in 1963, he appeared on an episode of Gunsmoke. In S8/Ep24, "Blind Man's Bluff", his character was Billy Poe.

In 1965, Hutchins co-starred with Jack Nicholson and Warren Oates in Monte Hellman's The Shooting.

In 1966, he made a guest appearance on the CBS courtroom drama series Perry Mason as Don Hobart in "The Case of the Scarlet Scandal". (He also appeared as Dan Haynes in The New Perry Mason in 1973 in the episode, "The Case of the Deadly Deeds".[citation needed] Actress Jodie Foster was in this same episode.)

Other TV series[edit]

In 1966–1967, he co-starred with Sandy Baron in Hey, Landlord, set in a New York City apartment building.[8] The program followed Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, but it failed to attract a sustaining audience against CBS's The Ed Sullivan Show and ABC's The F.B.I. with Efrem Zimbalist Jr., his former Warner Brothers colleague.[9]

Hutchins was reunited with Presley in Clambake (1967).

In 1968–1969, Hutchins starred as Dagwood Bumstead in a CBS television version of the comic strip Blondie.[8]


He travelled to Rhodesia to appear in Shangani Patrol (1970) playing Frederick Russell Burnham.

Back in the United States, Hutchins guest-starred on Love, American Style, Emergency!, Chase, Movin' On, The Streets of San Francisco, and The Quest. He was in The Horror at 37,000 Feet (1973), Slumber Party '57 (1976), and The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington (1977).

He also began appearing in circuses as Patches the Clown.[10]

Later career[edit]

Hutchins had roles in Roar (1981), Gunfighter (1999) and The Romantics (2010).

Personal life[edit]

Hutchins was married to Chris Burnett, sister of Carol Burnett, with whom he had a daughter.[11]

Major appearances[edit]



  1. ^ "Past Golden Boot Award Winners". List. Archived from the original on June 23, 2007. Retrieved September 18, 2007.
  2. ^ Magers, Donna. "Will Hutchins on Grady Sutton, W. C. Fields". westernclippings.com. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  3. ^ p. 222 Aaker, Everett Television Western Players, 1960-1975: A Biographical Dictionary McFarland, 16 May 2017
  4. ^ "Will Hutchins remembers Lucille Ball and Gary Morton, UCLA Cinema Arts department".
  5. ^ Magers, Donna. "Will Hutchins on Warner Bros".
  6. ^ Smith, C. (September 21, 1957). "Will hutchins rides out of movie limbo". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 167209586.
  7. ^ "Will Hutchins remembers No Time for Sergeants, Will's ring".
  8. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7
  9. ^ Humphrey, H. (September 25, 1966). "Danny's daughter Marlo Thomas: On her own now". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 155527774.
  10. ^ "Will Hutchins-[?] Sugarfoot the cowboy to Patches the clown". The Australian Women's Weekly. Vol. 48, no. 40. March 11, 1981. p. 2 (TV World). Retrieved December 3, 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ "TV Star Proves Capable, Popular, Sincere, Hokey". The Argus. Fremont, California. October 17, 1966. p. 20. Retrieved July 15, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon

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