- 1 Who is Gunilla Hutton?
- 2 Early Life and Education: Moving Across the Pond
- 3 Career Beginnings: Perry Mason, Burke’s Law, Petticoat Junction
- 4 Making a Name for Herself: Premiere, Love, American Style and More
- 5 The Significance of Her Hee Haw Performances
- 6 Where is Gunilla Hutton Now?
- 7 Personal Life: Is Gunilla Hutton Married? Does She Have Children?
- 8 Her Love Affair With Nat King Cole
- 9 Body Measurements: How Tall is Gunilla Hutton?
- 10 Net Worth: How Rich is Gunilla Hutton?
- 11 Social Media Presence
Who is Gunilla Hutton?
Born under the earth sign of Taurus on 15 May 1942, in Gothenburg, Sweden, Gunilla Wiklund is a 77-year-old Swedish-American singer and actress. After moving to the US, she achieved international fame as Gunilla Hutton through her role as the quirky Billie Jo Bradley in the hit American sitcom “Petticoat Junction”. Even though she wasn’t the first actress to play the lovable and sometimes empty-headed blonde, fans remember her in particular when thinking about the Billie Jo who truly shaped the show. Other than films and TV series, Gunilla was also a notable performer and cast member in “Hee Haw”, a popular comedy show which centered around country music and its cultural impact. She assumed her role from 1969 to 1992, when she finally retired from acting and disappeared from the public eye. Today, she mostly enjoys spending time with her family, with an occasional appearance for “Hee Haw” reunions.
Early Life and Education: Moving Across the Pond
Gunilla spent the first few years of her life in the second largest city in Sweden, then moved to the US with her family as a young child – it’s unclear whether she was accompanied by both of her parents, or if they were having marital problems. As a famous actress in the 1960s and ‘70s, Gunilla has faced numerous inquiries concerning this subject. A true professional, she avoided answering any and all questions involving said matter. We do know that she was raised in Fort Worth, Texas, where she matriculated from Arlington Heights High School in 1960. There is no information pertaining to whether she ever decided to prolong her studies by enrolling into college in pursuit of a degree, and thus she is generally believed not to possess an education further than high school. With her European heritage being the reason for her exotic beauty, Gunilla first aspired to be a model, but didn’t find much success in this line of work. After several failed attempts to enter the industry, she directed her attention to acting, which she had been fascinated with ever since childhood.
Career Beginnings: Perry Mason, Burke’s Law, Petticoat Junction
Gunilla made her acting debut in “Perry Mason”, with a cameo role in the episode “The Case of the Feather Cloak” – in the middle of the 20th century, this was one of the most popular and most renowned crime dramas, centered around the life of a criminal defense attorney who doesn’t shy away from handling the toughest cases. Given the fact that she appeared in such a high profile TV series, Gunilla was quickly noticed by directors and producers around the country. It seemed she had a soft spot for crime shows, as her second role was in a 1965 episode of “Burke’s Law”. Amos Burke, the chief of detectives in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), stopped at nothing to solve murder cases and deliver the perpetrators to justice. The show was famous for its mind-boggling plot twists and surprising endings. The same year, Gunilla made a breakthrough when she landed the role of Billie Jo Bradley in “Petticoat Junction”, one of the most notable sitcoms of the era. She stopped right where Jeannine Riley left off, and delivered a series of excellent performances in a total of 34 episodes.
Making a Name for Herself: Premiere, Love, American Style and More
1968 saw Hutton appear in “Premiere”, a highly regarded series of crime drama pilots on CBS. Even though the project was relatively experimental for the time, Gunilla proved once again that this genre was her bread and butter. In 1972, she assumed the role of Nikki in “Love, American Style”, a romantic comedy series featuring celebrity guests giving their take on love and interpersonal relationships. At this time, it became evident that, despite her immense talent, Gunilla was reluctant to completely devote herself to acting, as she only appeared sparingly in movies and TV shows.
Regardless, we could still see her in “Swim Team”, a hilarious comedy about a no-nonsense swimming coach who is faced with the challenge of breaking a high school team’s seven-year losing streak. In 1979, Hutton assumed the role of Nora Hayman in a thrilling double episode of “The Love Boat”, a comedy depicting the personal lives of the crew members working on a luxurious cruise ship. Afterwards, she only had two more credits to her name, in “Murder Can Hurt You!”, a notable TV movie, and in “Fantasy Island”, one of the best adventure shows of the early 1980s.
The Significance of Her Hee Haw Performances
For a period of 23 years, Gunilla appeared in “Hee Haw”, as one of the most important cast members. Her stint showed the world that, despite being a highly regarded actress, she could find her way in a comedic setting, and develop chemistry with other cast members. In total, she was featured in 240 episodes of the series. She also appeared in several other high-profile shows, such as “Family Feud”, “Password” and “Match Game”. Instead of pressuring herself to land as many roles as possible, Gunilla used her fame to have fun and explore different facets of acting. Her charisma and unique charm made her truly unforgettable, with her name still bearing significance after all these years. “Hee Haw” also demonstrated Hutton’s singing talents to the world, with many of her songs still being listened to even today.
Where is Gunilla Hutton Now?
After officially retiring in 1992, Gunilla has mostly stayed out of the public eye, apparently spending time with her family and dabbling in various business ventures. Her appearances in the last few years have mostly been interviews, with an additional resurfacing in “Country’s Family Reunion: Salute to the Cornfield”, a 2011 reunion project by the original cast of “Hee Haw”.
Personal Life: Is Gunilla Hutton Married? Does She Have Children?
Gunilla Hutton married notable American disk jockey (DJ) Allen Freeman, on 10 January 1970. The two have three children together – Christian Freeman, Amber Vanderbilt and Erik Freeman. Hutton and her beau enjoyed a peaceful marriage, without any incidents and controversies. They stayed married for 44 years, until Allen passed away in 2014.
Her Love Affair With Nat King Cole
When she was an aspiring singer and performer, Gunilla had the chance to meet some of the industry’s biggest names. Amongst them was superstar jazz musician and virtuoso, Nat King Cole. The two started off as friends, but it became apparent that there was something more to their relationship. Rumors began swirling and it was soon revealed that the two were seeing each other secretly, despite the fact that Nat was married to Maria. Apparently he was so head over heels for Gunilla that he wanted to leave his wife and five children to be with her. The situation became so complicated that Hutton had to call Maria to tell her that Nat was leaving her and her children, because he didn’t have the courage to tell her himself.
In the end, he chose his family over his mistress, which resulted in tabloids criticizing Gunilla in a rude and aggressive manner. Not much was known about the details of their relationship before Nat’s daughter, Natalie Cole, released her autobiography. Given the fact that Hutton’s marriage to Freeman was a controversy-free one, it seemed that she learned her lesson.
Body Measurements: How Tall is Gunilla Hutton?
Gunilla Hutton is 5ft 7in (170cm) tall; her weight and other measurements are unknown. The iconic Swedish-American actress became known for her luscious blonde hair and captivating brown eyes, resulting in her constantly being proclaimed as one of the most beautiful women in show business.
Net Worth: How Rich is Gunilla Hutton?
Have you ever wondered how affluent Hutton really is? According to authoritative sources, she was a net worth of approximately $3 million, as of mid-2019, accumulated by working relentlessly to become a better actress and singer. Despite not appearing in many shows and movies, her stint with “Hee Haw” made her a household name, and placed her in the higher echelons of American pop culture. It’s also likely that she invested in business ventures in the years following her retirement.
Social Media Presence
Thanks to the ever expanding grasp that social media has on worldwide audiences, it is in the best interests of most celebrities to keep their fans informed about their activities and thus maintain and potentially increase their ratings and profit. However, it doesn’t appear as though Gunilla is at all preoccupied with maintaining her involvement in this trend, seeing as her presence on social networks is all but ubiquitous at the moment. She doesn’t have accounts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Given the fact that she is nearing the age of 80, and that she grew bored of all the fanfare around her, the notion that she avoids social media comes as no surprise.