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Marion Hutton (10 March 1919, Battle Creek, Michigan - 10 January 1987, Kirkland, Washington) was a United States singer and actress.

Born as Marion Thornburg, the elder sister of actress Betty Hutton, their father abandoned their 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]

Contents

Early career

Marion 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.

Jeanine Basinger, a film historian and professor at the University of 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 alumni 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.[10] Looking back on her first marriage, in 1974 she told George Simon, "[W]hat I wanted most of all was to be a wife and mother. I had no drive for a career."[11]

Marriages

Hutton was married three times. She married publicist and future Jackie Gleason television producer[12] Jack Philbin in 1940.[13] She and Philbin had two sons, John and Phillip. Her next marriage, to writer Jack Douglas, produced a third son, Peter. 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.[14]

Later Years

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.

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 finding work at Residence XII, a drug addiction wing at a nearby hospital to help alcoholics and addicts. Schoen and Hutton performed many fund raisers for this addiction center. Hutton and Schoen had both struggled with alcoholism and in the late 1960s 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, funny stories, 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 from cancer on January 10, 1987, aged 67.[15]

References

External links

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