Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beulah Hutton, serial hench-woman

I included Beulah Hutton as one of my “Vixens, Floozies and Molls” (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1999 & 2004), my ode to early sound femme fatales, just because I liked her woman-handling poor Lucille Lund in Pirate Treasure (1934 see illustration). Not that I knew anything about Miss Hutton, other than her credits and the fact that she became Claire Trevor's stand-in, and I earned some ribbing for the inclusion. “How's Beulah today?” folks would ask, but happily before anyone had yet to invent that damnable LOL!

The true reason for Beulah's inclusion in my book was that she performed that extremely rare duty of being a serial hench-woman, a character she more or less had to herself. No other actress played a serial gang moll with the frequency of Beulah Hutton:

Heroes of the Flames (Universal, 1931) not available at this time
Danger Island (Universal, 1931) not available at this time
Battling with Buffalo Bill (Universal, 1931)
Perils of Pauline (Universal, 1933)
Pirate Treasure (Universal, 1934)
The Vanishing Shadow (Universal, 1934)
Tailspin Tommy (1934)

Since my book was first published back in 1999, I have learned that Beulah Hutton was actually a Canadian, born in Kingston, Ontario, in 1909. She was in Hollywood already by 1929 when she became one of eight starlets chosen to grace the Fox-Mary Astor vehicle The Woman from Hell.

Then in late June of 1936, Beulah Hutton suffered lacerations and bruised knees in a three car pileup near Universal City at Lankershim Blvd. and Valley Spring Lane Drive in North Hollywood. Hutton, whose age was given as 25 and who resided at 2034 North Argyle St. (a landmark Hollywood apartment building today known as “De Mille Manor,” was apparently the driver of a vehicle traveling north on Lankershim when colliding head on with an automobile driven by a Mrs. Delia Cordell, who escaped with minor abrasions. Worse off was Maybelle Hill, 42 and also of 2034 Argyle, who suffered compound fractures on both legs when the Hutton car skidded into a vehicle operated by Mr. A.L. Masters. In all, eight persons were treated for their injuries at the North Hollywood Carter Hospital.

According to someone at the Internet Movie Database, Beulah Maybelle Hutton took out US naturalization papers on June 25, 1943 under the name of Tempest Hutton. Also according to the Imdb, she was in the 1949 Columbia Academy Award-winner All the King's Men, which suggests that she had joined the ranks of Hollywood extras years before. Also according to Imdb, she died in Los Angeles October 19, 1995. I have not been able to verify this last claim, however.


  1. Hey, this is the cousin of Beulah Hutton who told you about her family info., she died on Oct 19, 1995. Her legal name at death was Tempest Walker.

    1. I am the daughter of Beulah Hutton's brother. I have been trying to track down relatives for some time now. I live in British Columbia. How would I get in touch with you?

    2. I am also a cousin of Beulah and would like to get in touch with the relatives.

  2. She's also in the 1932 serial, "The Lost Special", playing Francis Ford's secretary, Miss Hutton!