How Freddie Mercury's Longtime Partner Transformed The Singer's Life

20th Century Fox

Bohemian Rhapsody details the life of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer and main creative driving force behind the band Queen. Mercury was known for his operatic voice and flamboyant style on stage, but off stage he was known to be a quiet and charming individual — a side of the late singer the film hopes to show. One person who knew Mercury best was his longtime partner, Jim Hutton, who is portrayed in the film by Irish actor Aaron McCusker. But what happened to Jim Hutton in real life?

Unfortunately, Hutton is no longer with us. While Hutton, like Mercury, suffered from HIV, the disease was not his cause of death. (Mercury died due to complications from AIDS in 1991.) Instead, it was lung cancer that took Hutton's life, and the Irish native died at the age of 60 on New Year's Day, 2010, according to Irish Central. A hairdresser at the time, Hutton first met Mercury at a London gay club called Heaven in 1985, he told The Times of London. The Queen frontman approached him and offered to buy him a drink, but Hutton was already dating someone and declined. About 18 months later they crossed paths again in a club, and this time the sparks flew, igniting a lengthy relationship that would last for the rest of Mercury's life until his untimely death at the age of 45. The movie shows them meeting under different circumstances.

The pair ended up living together for several years, starting not long after they began dating. And though they were never married (gay marriage having been illegal at the time), they more or less acted as married couples do; each wore a wedding ring to show how committed they were to one another, according to Irish Central, and Mercury referred to Hutton as his husband, according to The Vintage News. Also, like married couples, their love lasted through the difficult times. After Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987, he reportedly told Hutton he would understand if he wanted to leave. "Don’t be stupid," Hutton said in response, according to The Daily Beast. "I’m not going anywhere. I’m here for the long haul." Hutton stayed by Mercury's side and helped care for him until the singer's death in 1991.

Three years after Mercury's passing, Hutton published a book detailing his time with the singer titled Mercury and Me. According to the book's summary on Amazon, Hutton worked as Mercury's gardener after moving into the singer's Kensington mansion, and he never fully embraced the rock and roll lifestyle, instead maintaining a relatively normal life with his famous live-in boyfriend. Hutton's primary motivation for writing the book was therapeutic in nature, he revealed in a 1994 interview with the British morning news program The Big Breakfast, as he believed it helped him grieve his lover's death.

Jim Hutton was an important figure in Freddie Mercury's life, and like the singer, he is no longer with us today. But thanks to Bohemian Rhapsody, the pair's relationship is getting a new lease on life on the big screen.