Film critic Tom Hutchinson, who kissed Marilyn Monroe and counted Rod Steiger as a personal friend, has died at the age of 75.
died peacefully in his sleep at the Royal Free Hospital, London. He was
the Ham&High’s film critic until last year, but his fame as an
author, TV and radio presenter and scriptwriter spread way beyond
Tom met his wife, Patricia, at the Sheffield Telegraph
and Star, where she worked as an artist and he was a reporter. They
married in 1954 and came to London in 1956.
Apart from a short
spell in Newcastle, where Tom worked as a TV producer, the pair spent
all their married life in a flat in Southwood Lane, Highgate.
They had three children, Michael, now 47, Stephen, 45, and Janetta, 40, and seven grandchildren.
Mrs Hutchinson, 75, said: “We had been together a very long time. We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary last year.
“We lived in Southwood Lane all that time because it has such a lovely view out the back onto London.”
Hutchinson worked on the Picture Guide film magazine and became a film
critic for The Sunday Telegraph and The Mail on Sunday.
He also worked for The Guardian and the Radio Times and various other magazines.
Tom wrote a book on Marilyn Monroe and one of his best received works was a biography of Rod Steiger.
Rod Steiger: Memoirs of a Friendship, the book traced the story of the
star’s life and work, bound with Tom’s personal reminiscences.
Tom’s son Michael said: “During his career he met all the Hollywood greats, both actors and directors.
“He would reminisce about how he kissed Marilyn Monroe.
“He was witness to nearly half of the history of film. He was an avid filmgoer by the age of 11.
“And because he was a film critic almost in an unbroken succession, he will have seen more or less every movie ever made.
“He loved what we call film noir, but, typical of my father, he didn’t accept the term. He loved Billy Wilder and Orson Welles.
tried to look for something praiseworthy in every film, because he
always said a lot of people put a lot of effort into making it.
particularly loved writing for the Ham&High – he didn’t have to
pull his punches. He felt it was like writing for a group of friends.
assembled his puns very early in life and didn’t feel the need for any
new ones. He always joked that a good pun makes wincemeat out of you.”
Mrs Hutchinson said: “He was great fun. Everyone that met him liked him.
He was such a fun person and was good at jokes and puns.
“He didn’t particularly help around the house, but he would make a curry now and again.
“We had a great social life, going to films in the private theatres in Wardour Street.”
Caroline McClatchey, reporter, Ham&High