Robert Hutton

Active - 1943 - 1972  |   Born - Jun 11, 1920 in Kingston, New York  |   Died - Aug 7, 1994   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Crime, Horror, Romance

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American actor Robert Hutton had a briefly thriving Hollywood career thanks to something called "victory casting." While many of the major stars were in uniform during World War II, the Hollywood studios scrambled to find young actors who could substitute for their departed favorites. Hutton happened to have many of the shy, self-effacing characteristics of Jimmy Stewart, which served him well in such Warner Bros. pictures as Destination Tokyo (1943), Janie (1944) and Roughly Speaking (1945). Warners allowed Hutton a major showcase in the all-star morale booster Hollywood Canteen (1945); it was Hutton's puppy-love attraction to Joan Leslie which motivated the film's plotline. When the Big Names came marching home in 1945, "victory" fill-in actors suddenly found themselves expendable. Hutton was able to hang on longer than most with supporting roles in such films as The Younger Brothers (1949), Man on the Eiffel Tower (1950), The Steel Helmet (1951), Casanova's Big Night (1954) and The Colossus of New York (1958). Still relatively boyish in middle age, Hutton was personally selected by Jerry Lewis to play one of Lewis' "wicked stepbrothers" in Cinderfella (1960). Like many '40s male leads, Hutton spent plenty of time in horror and science-fiction films of the '50s and '60s, including The Man Without a Body (1957), Invisible Invaders (1959) and The Slime People (1963), which Hutton also produced and directed and which got better bookings than it deserved thanks to a robust promotional campaign. Hutton lived in England from 1964 through 1974, popping up as a character actor in films like You Only Live Twice (1967) The Torture Garden (1968) and Tales from the Crypt (1971). Before Robert Hutton returned to the States, he wrote the screenplay for the British-produced Persecution (1974), a turgid thriller distinguished by the astonishing presence of Trevor Howard and Lana Turner.

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