Who is Gunilla Hutton?
Gunilla Hutton was born as Gunilla Wiklund under the zodiac sign of Taurus, on 15 May 1944, in Gothenburg, Sweden; she holds both Swedish and American nationality, and her ethnicity is Caucasian. She’s a singer and actress with nearly ten credits to her name, perhaps still known best for her role as Billie Jo Bradley in the popular series from the ’60s “Petticoat Junction”, starring Bea Benaderet, Edgar Buchanan, and Linda Henning.
Early life, family, and education
Although born in Sweden, when she was still a toddler her family moved to Fort Worth, Texas USA; Gunilla hasn’t disclosed information regarding her parents and siblings, so it’s assumed that she was raised as the only child.
She attended Arlington Heights High School, and upon matriculating in 1962, she didn’t enroll at college but launched her acting career. Gunilla moved to Los Angeles, California, and studied acting at one of the prestigious acting schools, and to provide for herself worked as a model, under the name Gunilla Hutton.
Roles in series
In 1965, Gunilla made her acting debut, she had a minor role as Second Girl in the episode “The Case of the Feather Cloak” of the series “Perry Mason”, acting alongside Barbara Hale, William Hopper and Raymond Burr in this crime mystery drama, which won three Primetime Emmys.
In the series “Burke’s Law”, Gunilla made an appearance in an episode as Model No.1, before she was cast to play her most notable role as Billie Jo Bradley in “Petticoat Junction”, which was a comedy drama about the family staff of The Shady Rest Hotel, their neighbors, and misadventures which were mostly caused by the owner of the hotel, Uncle Jo. The series didn’t have any awards or nominations, but was well accepted by the audience, running for seven seasons through 1970.
In 1968, Gunilla portrayed Astrid in an episode of the series “Premiere”, and then she made an appearance as Nikki in “Love, American Style”, acting alongside William Callaway, Stuart Margolin, and Barbara Minkus in this comedy drama, which had five award nominations, and won two Primetime Emmys.
After almost a decade, Gunilla was cast to play Nora Hayman in “The Love Boat” in 1979, a romantic comedy drama created by Wilford Lloyd Baumes, which had five Primetime Emmy nominations, followed by Gunilla’s role as Lady Godiva/Priscilla in the series “Fantasy Island”, in 1981, which was her last television appearance as an actress.
Roles in movies
In 1972, Gunilla was cast to play Suzanne in making her debut on the big screen in the movie “Swim Team”, acting alongside Richard Young, James Daughton and Stephen Furst in this comedy drama written and directed by James Polakof.
In the following year, she portrayed Raquel in the Primetime nominated movie “Murder Can Hurt You!”, starring Jamie Farr, Victor Buono and Tony Danza, this comedy drama a spin-off from the various television crime dramas, which follows the story of the murderer who kills all the great police officers and detectives, so there is no one left to solve the crimes.
Gunilla’s role as Raquel was her last appearance in the movie industry, however, she was seen in the ‘90s music comedy show “Hee Haw” in which she performed alongside Buck Owens and Roy Clark – the show won one Primetime Emmy, while Gunilla won TV Land Entertainer Award, shared with the rest of the show’s cast.
Her fans can enjoy her performance by watching videos uploaded on YouTube, and some of the songs she sang – “Tulsa Time”, “Break My Mind”, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and “The End of the World”, have amassed over 10,000 views.
From 1972 until 1975, Gunilla released four singles – “You Can Say the Prettiest Things Sometimes / The Greatest Story Never Told”, “Chowchilla Dust / We’ve Got Old Fashioned Love”, “You’re Gonna Get Loved / See the Lady Cryin”, and “Cody / The End of Our Love Song”.
Love life and relationships
There were various rumors concerning Gunilla’s love life, a part of many controversies and gossip, some of them false but some true. In the early ’60s, Gunilla met Nat ‘King’ Cole, a famous jazz singer and musician, and eventually the two started an affair. Sometime in 1964, Gunilla telephoned Nat’s wife, Maria Cole, and told her that they were in love and that she should divorce him. Maria confronted Nat, telling him to break-up with Gunilla, which he eventually did, after he was diagnosed with a lung cancer.
In 1970, Gunilla married Alan Freeman, with whom she dated for two years before their wedding; there isn’t much information about Alan, except that he was a US Air Force pilot.
The two have three children together, two sons Christian and Eric, and daughter Amber who married famous screenwriter Jamie Vanderbilt in 2005.
Gunilla and Alan were married for over 40 years when sadly her husband died in 2014.
Where is Gunilla Hutton now?
As of February 2022, Gunilla is single and lives a peaceful, quiet life in her residence in Los Angeles; she has no social media accounts, thus there isn’t much known about her life after she withdrew away from the media’s attention.
She made an appearance in a Memorable Entertainment Television (MeTV) commercial in 2015, promoting the series “Petticoat Junction” alongside her fellows Lori Saunders and Linda Kaye Henning, who portrayed Billie Jo’s sisters in the series.
According to some sources close to Gunilla, she now mostly enjoys reading books and watching movies; she also likes to go for walks with her friends, to go out for dinner, or visit the theater. In one of her rare interviews, she was saying about her acting career that she was sorry for not getting more serious roles, and that people mostly remember her as a ‘horny, silly blonde’ from “Hee Haw”.
Age, height, and net worth
Gunilla is 77 years old, and although rumors were saying that she’s dead, she is still alive and healthy; when she was at the peak of her career, this blondie with dark brown eyes weighed around 120lbs (55kgs) with a height of 5ft 7ins (1.7m), and vital statistics of 34-25-34, rated a stunning beauty with a fit body.
As of early 2022, her net worth has been estimated at $3 million.