Lanky and likable Will Hutchins was born in Los Angeles,
California, in 1930 and went to Pomona College and UCLA while spending two
years as an army cryptographer. Out of nowhere, he was discovered by a Warner
Bros. TV talent scout and signed without any previous experience. Besides
appearing as a guest on many TV westerns such as Maverick (1957) and Cheyenne
(1955), he earned his own series, Sugarfoot (1957), in which he played an
unlikely western hero. The program ran a respectable four seasons.
In its aftermath, he focused on films, the most important
being Merrill's Marauders (1962), and co-starred in a two-year stage tour of
"Never Too Late". His gawky comedy style was put to the test as well
in the '60s with two short-lived series, Hey, Landlord (1966) and Blondie
(1968), in the latter playing Dagwood Bumstead. He also backed up Elvis Presley
in three of his mediocre film efforts. Hutchins wed Carol Burnett's younger
sister, Chrissie Burnett; they divorced in later years.
As is often the case with an instant TV star, there is an
eventual downswing, and in the late '60s Will started to flounder badly. In his
case, he turned his back on Hollywood and became, of all things, a ringmaster
and clown for various circuses. Will has also worked behind the scenes for NBC
and still attends conventions on occasion, more recently the 2004 Cincinnati
Old Time Radio Convention, where he received the "Stone-Waterman
Signed in Silver pen.