Josephine Hutchinson (Who’s Who at MGM, 1937) 🇺🇸
One of Josephine Hutchinson’s earliest memories is seeing her mother in a long black gown with an ostrich feather fan, dancing with a tall dark man in evening clothes. It was in the ballroom scene of a play in which Josephine’s mother was appearing in the leading role.
It was then that the young girl decided she wanted to grow up to be an actress like her mother. Soon after that her mother retired from the stage to devote her time to her family, but she encouraged her daughter in every way possible and arranged for her to take lessons in elecution.
Josephine was born in Seattle, Wash., Oct. 12, the daughter of a building contractor, Charles Hutchinson, and Leona Hutchinson. She attended grade school and high school, devoting most of her time to studying dramatics and playing leading roles in amateur productions. She won a scholarship to the Cornish dramatic school which she attended for five months, later going to New York to try to get a job on the stage.
She began making a tour of the theatrical agencies. At the first office she visited, the manager was very kind, telling her to come back in two weeks. Believing it wouldn’t be fair to try for another job, she spent the next two weeks visiting Grant’s Tomb, Trinity Church yard and the Aquarium.
Started in “ Hairy Ape”
Finally she obtained a small part in the Eugene O’Neill play, ‘’The Hairy Ape,” being produced by the Provincetown Players. She regards the experience as among the most valuable she has ever had. O’Neill and other men who later became famous were associated with the group and gave Miss Hutchinson much advice and training.
From New York she went to Washington, D. C„ to play a variety of roles with a stock company for three years, becoming a versatile actress and gaining valuable experience.
After that training she returned to New York to appear in a leading role in “A Man’s Man,” which had a long run on Broadway. After the play closed Miss Hutchinson was offered an opportunity to join the Civic Repertory company formed by Eva Le Gallienne.
Discovered by Scout
She played in New York productions and revivals of Ibsen and Chekhov for seven years. It was while touring with Miss Le Galienne that she was discovered by a talent scout in Los Angeles.
In pictures her favorite role was as Hester in Oil for the Lamps of China. Other pictures in which she has appeared include “The Melody Lingers On,” “Happiness Ahead,” “Mountain Justice,” “The Right to Live” and “The Story of Louis Pasteur.” She has recently been placed under contract by M-G-M.
Miss Hutchinson is married to James Townsend, a theatrical agent. An omnivorous reader, she likes fiction, biographies and poetry but refuses to read plays except when it is absolutely necessary.
Of the books she has read recently she most admires “Of Mice and Men,” by Steinbeck, but among classical authors she prefers the works of Chekhov and Shakespeare.
She finds recreation in dancing and going to the movies two or three times a week but she dislikes bridge and never plays when it is possible to avoid it.
Miss Hutchinson is five feet, four inches tall and weighs 112 pounds. She has red hair and eyes of clear amber.
On the sets she is a tireless worker and appears punctually for all scenes.
Her first picture for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was “The Women Men Marry” opposite George Murphy.