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Monday, 26 February 2018

Betty Hutton born 26 February 1921


Betty Hutton (born Elizabeth June Thornburg; February 26, 1921 – March 12, 2007) was an American stage, film, and television actress, comedian, dancer, and singer.  

Betty Hutton was born Elizabeth June Thornburg on February 26, 1921, in Battle Creek, Michigan. Two years later Betty's father decided that the family way of life wasn't for him, so he left (he committed suicide 16 years later). Having to fend for themselves, Mrs. Thornburg moved the family to Detroit to find work in the numerous auto factories there, but times were hard and she decided to take advantage of Prohibition and opened a small tavern, at the time called a speakeasy. The police were always looking for those types of operation, both big and small, and when they detected one, they swooped in and closed it down. Mrs. Thornburg was no different from the other owners, they simply moved elsewhere. Poverty was a constant companion. In addition to that, Mrs. Thornburg was an alcoholic. 

At nine years old Betty began singing publicly for the first time in a school production. Realizing the voice Betty had, her mother took her around Detroit to have her sing to any group that would listen. This was a small way of getting some money for the poor family. When she was 13 Betty got a few singing jobs with local bands in the area. Thinking she was good enough to make the big time, she left for New York two years later to try a professional career. Unfortunately, it didn't work out and Betty headed back to Detroit. 

In 1937, Betty was hired by Vincent Lopez who had a popular band that appeared on the local radio. Later, she would return to New York and it was here that her career took off. Betty found herself on Broadway in 1940, and it was only a matter of time before her career took off to bigger heights. The following year she left New York for Hollywood, where she was to find new life in films. She was signed by Paramount Pictures and made her debut, at 21, in The Fleet's In (1942), along with Eddie Bracken, William Holden and Dorothy Lamour. Reviews were better than expected, with critics looking favourably
upon her work. She had previously appeared in a few musical shorts, which no doubt helped her in her first feature film. She made one more musical in 1942 and two more in 1943. 

In 1944 she tried to break away from musicals and try her hand in a screwball comedy, The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1943). She proved - to herself, the public and the critics - that she was marketable outside musicals. In subsequent films Betty was able to show her comedic side as well as her singing. In 1948 she appeared in her first big box-office bomb, Dream Girl (1948), which was ripped to shreds by critics, as was Betty's acting, and the movie flopped at the box office. It wasn't long before Betty became unhappy with her career. In truth she had the acting talent, but the parts she got weren't the types to showcase that. Though she did appear in three well received films later, Red, Hot and Blue (1949), Annie Get Your Gun (1950) and The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), her career was winding down. 
 
 
                            

Later, after filming Somebody Loves Me (1952), Betty was all but finished. She had married 'Charles O'Curran' that year and he wanted to direct her in an upcoming film. Paramount didn't like the idea and the temper tantrum-prone Betty walked out of her contract and movies. She did concentrate on the relatively new medium of television and the stage, but she never recovered her previous form. Her final film was a minor one, Spring Reunion (1957). Her TV series, The Betty Hutton Show (1959), didn't fare too well at all.  

As her career faded, Hutton fell victim to her private demons and fiscal woes. She abused sleeping pills along with other drugs for a long time. In 1967, she declared insolvency, having spent the $9 million to $10 million that she’d brought in during her heyday. Several years after, she had a mental breakdown, afterwards spending time in a treatment facility. Together with assistance from Father Peter Maguire, Hutton was able to turn her life around. Also around now, she became a drama teacher at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. 

After Maguire’s passing in 1996, Hutton moved to Palm Springs, California, hoping to make up along with her three daughters who lived in the state. Wed four times, Hutton had two kids, Sweets and Lindsay, with her first husband, Ted Briskin. “My husbands all fell in love with Betty Hutton,” the famed blonde bombshell once said, in accordance with The New York Times. “None of them fell in love with me.” 


Betty lived in quiet retirement in Palm Springs, California until her death from complications from colon cancer on March 11, 2007, at the age of 86. There was a modest, private service to mark her passing, which her daughters failed to attend. Despite her attempts, Hutton hadn’t had the opportunity to mend the rift between her and her children. 

(Compiled mainly from a bio by Denny Jackson @ IMDb & Wikipedia)


3 comments:

boppinbob said...

For “ Betty Hutton - The Blonde Bombshell In Hollywood” go here:

http://www112.zippyshare.com/v/RtdJpNs5/file.html

Disc 1

1. OL' MAN MOSE
2. THE JITTERBUG
"THE FLEET'S IN"
3. IF YOU BUILD A BETTER MOUSETRAP
4. NOT MINE
5. ARTHUR MURRAY TAUGHT ME DANCING IN A HURRY
"STAR-SPANGLED RHYTHM"
6. I'M DOIN' IT FOR DEFENSE
"HAPPY GO LUCKY"
7. MURDER , HE SAYS
8. THE FUDDY DUDDY WATCHMAKER
"LET'S FACE IT"
9. LET'S NOT TALK ABOUT LOVE
"AND THE ANGELS SING"
10. THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS
11. BLUEBIRDS IN MY BELFRY
12. HIS ROCKING HORSE RAN AWAY
"HERE COME THE WAVES"
13. JOIN THE NAVY
14. THERE'S A FELLA WAITIN' IN POUGHKEEPSIE
15. I PROMISE YOU
"INCENDIARY BLONDE"
16. RAGTIME COWBOY JOE
17. OH, BY JINGO: OH, BY GEE
18. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THOSE EYES AT ME FOR?
19. ROW, ROW, ROW
20. IT HAD TO BE YOU
"DUFFY'S TAVERN"
21. THE HARD WAY
22. SWINGING ON A STAR

Disc 2

"THE STORK CLUB"
1. DOCTOR, LAWYER, INDIAN CHIEF
2. I'M A SQUARE IN A SOCIAL CIRCLE
3. IN THE SHADE OF THE OLD APPLE TREE
4. IF I HAD A DOZEN HEARTS
"THE PERILS OF PAULINE"
5. THE SEWING MACHINE
6. RUMBLE, RUMBLE, RUMBLE
7. I WISH I DIDN'T LOVE YOU SO
8. POPPA DON'T PREACH TO ME
“RED, HOT AND BLUE"
9. THAT'S LOYALTY
10. HAMLET
11. I WAKE UP IN THE MORNING FEELING FINE
12. NOW THAT I NEED YOU
"LET'S DANCE"
13. CAN'T STOP TALKING
14. OH, THEM DUDES
15. WHY FIGHT THE FEELING
16. TUNNEL OF LOVE
"SOMEBODY LOVES ME"
17. THAT TEASING RAG
18. I CAN'T TELL YOU WHY I LOVE YOU, BUT I DO
19. TODDLING THE TODALO
20. Medley:
UNE
ON SAN FRANCISCO BAY
SMILES
21. ON STAGE INTERLUDE
22. ROSE ROOM
23. WAY DOWN YONDER IN NEW ORLEANS
24. JEALOUS
25. LOVE HIM
26. MISTER BANJO MAN
27. DIXIE DREAMS
28. SOMEBODY LOVES ME

“Rumbustious, exuberant, screwball”. Just some of the words used to describe the wacky talent of Betty Hutton. Just check out the opener on this two disc set “OL’ MAN MOSE” if any proof is needed of her frenetic style! Hutton had an illustrious career on and off screen and here Jasmine Records have compiled a fantastic array of numbers that capture her zany style at its best with music from motion pictures such as “THE FLEET IS IN” and “INCENDIARY BLONDE.” From sell out shows across the Mid-West to sell out shows at the palladium. Why not check out Betty Hutton at the height of her fame in your own home and relive some of her greatest moments.

Pudge said...

Can't wait to give this one a listen. Thank you Bob.

RiCK SAUNDERS said...

Thanks! Such a tragic story. I can't wait to listen to her. I adore the clip of her sister Marion with Glenn Miller doing Kalamazoo.