Image of Betty Grable

Betty Grable

Elizabeth Ruth Grable was born on December 18, 1916 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother Lillian was a stubborn and materialistic woman who was determined to make her daughter a star. Elizabeth, who later became Betty, was enrolled in Clark's Dancing School at the age of three. With her mother's guidance, Betty studied ballet and tap dancing. At age 13, Betty and her mother set out for Hollywood with the hopes of stardom. Lillian lied about her daughter's age, and Ruth landed several minor parts in films in 1930, such as Whoopee! (1930), New Movietone Follies of 1930 (1930), Happy Days (1929) and Let's Go Places (1930). In 1932, she signed with RKO Radio Pictures. The bit parts continued for the next three years. Betty finally landed a substantial part in By Your Leave (1934). One of her big roles was in College Swing (1938). Unfortunately, the public did not seem to take notice. She was beginning to think she was a failure. The next year, she married former child star Jackie Coogan. His success boosted hers, but they divorced in 1940. When she landed the role of Glenda Crawford in Down Argentine Way (1940), the public finally took notice of this shining bright star. Stardom came through comedies such as Coney Island (1943) and Sweet Rosie O'Grady (1943). The public was enchanted with Betty. Her famous pin-up pose during World War II adorned barracks all around the world. With that pin-up and as the star of lavish musicals, Betty became the highest-paid star in Hollywood. After the war, her star continued to rise. In 1947, the United States Treasury Department noted that she was the highest paid star in America, earning about $300,000 a year - a phenomenal sum even by today's standards. Later, 20th Century-Fox, who had her under contract, insured her legs with Lloyds of London for a million dollars. Betty continued to be popular until the mid-1950s, when musicals went into a decline. Her last film was How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955). She then concentrated on Broadway and nightclubs. In 1965, she divorced band leader Harry James, whom she had wed in 1943. Betty Grable died at age 56 of lung cancer on July 2, 1973 in Santa Monica, California. Her life was an active one, devoid of the scandals that plagued many stars in one way or another. In reality, she cared for her family and the family life more than stardom. In that way, she was a true star. Date of Death 2 July 1973, Santa Monica, California  (lung cancer)   Interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California

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Dec 18, 1916 In St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Happy Days 1929-09-16
Latest Project:
Movie This Is Bob Hope... 2017-12-29
Known For
Poster of The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend
Poster of Give Me a Sailor
Poster of Thrill of a Lifetime
Poster of What Price Innocence?
Movie This Is Bob Hope... Herself (archive footage) 2017-12-29
Movie The Love Goddesses 1965-03-03
Movie Hollywood My Home Town 1965-12-31
Series The Hollywood Palace Unknown 1964-01-04
Movie Marilyn 1963-04-18
Series The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour Unknown 1957-11-06
Series The Dinah Shore Chevy Show Unknown 1956-10-05
Movie Three for the Show Julie Lowndes 1955-02-24
Movie How To Be Very, Very Popular Stormy Tornado 1955-07-22
Series Star Stage Cleopatra Collins 1955-09-09
Series The Academy Awards Unknown 1953-03-18
Movie The Farmer Takes a Wife Molly Larkins 1953-06-12
Movie How to Marry a Millionaire Loco Dempsey 1953-10-29
Movie Call Me Mister Kay Hudson 1951-02-01
Movie Meet Me After the Show Delilah Lee 1951-08-15
Movie Wabash Avenue Ruby Summers 1950-03-31
Movie The Costume Designer 1950-07-13
Movie My Blue Heaven Kitty Moran 1950-09-15
Movie The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend Freddie 1949-05-27
Movie When My Baby Smiles at Me Bonny Kane 1948-11-10
Series The Ed Sullivan Show Unknown 1948-06-20
Movie That Lady in Ermine Francesca / Angelina 1948-08-24
Movie The Shocking Miss Pilgrim Cynthia Pilgrim 1947-01-04
Movie Mother Wore Tights Mother 1947-08-20
Movie Do You Love Me Barry's Fan in Taxi (uncredited) 1946-05-17
Movie The Dolly Sisters Yansci 'Jenny' Dolly 1945-11-14
Movie Diamond Horseshoe Bonnie Collins 1945-05-02
Movie The All-Star Bond Rally 1945-05-10
Movie Wing and a Prayer (archive footage) 1944-01-01
Movie Four Jills in a Jeep Betty Grable 1944-03-17
Movie Take It or Leave It Herself 1944-07-17
Movie Pin Up Girl Lorry Jones 1944-04-25
Movie Coney Island Kate Farley 1943-06-18
Movie Sweet Rosie O'Grady Madeleine Marlowe/Rosie O'Grady 1943-10-01
Movie Song of the Islands Eileen O'Brien 1942-03-13
Movie Springtime in the Rockies Vicky Lane 1942-11-06
Movie Footlight Serenade Pat Lambert 1942-08-01
Movie Moon Over Miami Kathryn 'Kay' Latimer, also called Miss Adams 1941-07-04
Movie A Yank in the R.A.F. Carol Brown 1941-09-26
Movie Hedda Hopper's Hollywood No. 2 1941-12-05
Movie I Wake Up Screaming Jill Lynn 1941-10-31
Movie Down Argentine Way Glenda Crawford 1940-10-11
Movie Tin Pan Alley Lily Blane 1940-11-29
Movie Man About Town Susan Hayes 1939-06-29
Movie The Day the Bookies Wept Ina Firpo 1939-09-15
Movie Give Me a Sailor Nancy Larkin 1938-08-19
Movie College Swing Betty 1938-04-29
Movie Campus Confessions Joyce Gilmore 1938-09-23
Movie This Way Please Jane Morrow 1937-10-15
Movie Thrill of a Lifetime Gwen 1937-12-03
Movie Collegiate Dorothy 1936-01-22
Movie Follow the Fleet Singer in Trio 1936-02-20
Movie Don't Turn 'em Loose Mildred Webster 1936-09-18
Movie Sunkist Stars at Palm Springs 1936-08-05
Movie Pigskin Parade Laura Watson 1936-10-23
Movie A Night at the Biltmore Bowl Vocalist 1935-06-21
Movie The Nitwits Mary Roberts 1935-06-07
Movie Old Man Rhythm Sylvia 1935-08-02
Movie A Quiet Fourth 1935-08-08
Movie Love Detectives Alice 1934-02-28
Movie Student Tour Cayenne 1934-10-05
Movie The Gay Divorcee Dance Specialty "Knock Knees" 1934-10-12
Movie By Your Leave Frances 1934-11-09
Movie Child of Manhattan Lucy McGonagle 1933-02-11
Movie Melody Cruise 1933-06-22
Movie Cavalcade Girl on Couch 1933-02-08
Movie What Price Innocence? Beverly Bennett 1933-06-24
Movie The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi Band Singer with Ted Fio Rito 1933-10-25
Movie The Age of Consent Student at Dormitory (uncredited) 1932-08-19
Movie The Greeks Had a Word for Them Hat Check Girl (uncredited) 1932-02-03
Movie Probation Ruth Jarrett 1932-04-01
Movie Hold 'Em Jail Barbara Jones 1932-09-16
Movie The Kid from Spain Goldwyn Girl (uncredited) 1932-11-17
Movie Over the Counter Customer Who Wants to Buy a Baby (uncredited) 1932-10-15
Movie Kiki Goldwyn Girl (uncredited) 1931-03-14
Movie Palmy Days Goldwyn Girl (uncredited) 1931-10-03
Movie Whoopee! Goldwyn Girl (uncredited) 1930-10-05
Movie New Movietone Follies of 1930 1930-05-04
Movie Happy Days Chorus Woman 1929-09-16