Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Leona Hutton -- Iron Lung Exit

Hutton (real name Mary Epstein) was a leading lady in silent films and starred in The Typhoon (1914) with Sessue Hayakawa and The Market of Vain Desire (1916) with H. B.  Warner.  Prior to her Hollywood career, she toured in stock companies as "Jane Whitman."  Retired from acting, Hutton had resided in Toledo, Ohio for 13 years, and was the president of the local chapter of the Women's Overseas Service League when a leg fracture in 1949 confined the former actress to her home at 1741 Evansdale Avenue for ten weeks.  On March 31, 1949, Hutton informed her husband that she had taken an overdose of the painkilling drug codeine.  She died 13 hours later in an iron lung at Maumee Valley Hospital.  Hutton's death was ruled a suicide.  Her niece and protege, June Clyde, starred onstage and in British films (Dance Band, 1935; Poison Pen, 1939).