Downton Abbey: The Inspiration of the Jack Ross Character

I am one of those totally addicted to “Downton Abbey,” and as a fan of old music I could not help noticing the direct inspiration of the character Jack Ross to cabaret legend Leslie “Hutch” Hutchinson.

Leslie Hutchinson was one of most famous cabaret singers in the world in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and was a toast of society both in the U.S. and England. He was also known for his scandals and his bisexual affairs with high profile people including Ivor Novello, Tallulah Bankhead, Edwina Mountbatten (of the Royal Family), and Cole Porter, and he recorded a number of Cole Porter’s songs.

This Youtube clip shows an apt Cole Porter song choice, “Just a Gigilo,” from 1929.

Hutch and his affairs with celebrities of both sexes were the fodder of English tabloids, which must have been working over time trying to keep up with him. It is difficult to read about him without a mention of his reportedly huge, er, endowment. In fact, that’s what google thinks as well. If you type in the name Leslie Hutchinson one of the first search prompts that show up is “well endowed.” 

Another search result, “gigolo,” leads you to the fact that in the UK in 2008 a documentary was produced with the title “High Society’s Favourite Gigolo.”

And searching in Youtube will get you a lot more to sample. I like his singing style, and have a couple of the many CD collections now available, with him doing many of the classics of our best composers.

But, if you want more scandal, check out this UK article, entitled “The scandalous truth about Downton Abbey’s royal gigolo Jack Ross.”