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 Betty Grable

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Betty Grable

  • Original Name Ruth Elizabeth
  • Birth 18 Dec 1916 Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
  • Death 2 Jul 1973 Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Plot Mausoleum of the Golden West, Sanctuary of Dawn, Crypt A78
  • GPS
  • Memorial ID 409

Actress. She was born Ruth Elizabeth Grable, the youngest of three children to a truck driver father and a mother who was the ultimate in stage door moms. Her mother began training Ruth literally from the time the child could walk and talk, teaching her to dance, play the saxophone and sing. A family vacation to California, when Ruth was twelve, resulted in a longer stay with mother enrolling her in various Hollywood schools for formal training. Her persistent mother was able to land her a screen test resulting in appearing in the movie, "Happy Days". Upon the studio discovering her real age, the contract was voided. Undaunted by this, Betty was presented at the casting offices of Samuel Goldwyn and was on her way with a contract; at the age of 13, she was playing a chorus girl in a Hollywood film. From 1937 to 1939, she was married to child star Jackie Coogan; his career success helped hers by landing Betty a major role in the film, "Down Argentina Way". Several comedy movies followed, including "Coney Island" and "Sweet Rosie O'Grady". She sang and danced her way to become the most recognized film figure during the war years. From the movies to television, Betty appeared on many TV shows during the latter 1950s including the "Shower of Stars", the "Jack Benny Show" and the "Lucy Desi Comedy Hour". It was Betty Grable's famous pin-up pose which cemented her stardom during World War II. She became the secret weapon and moral booster of the U.S. Military. Her picture appeared worldwide, in military barracks, soldiers lockers, the fuselage of bombers, trucks, tanks and posters selling war bonds. She made many appearances at the Betty Davis Sponsored Hollywood Canteen helping to entertain servicemen. In 1943, she married band leader, Harry James, and during their twenty-two-year marriage, they had two daughters. With musicals waning in the mid 1950, she concentrated on a stage career and appearances in nightclubs. She opened New York's Latin Quarter and starred in many shows in Las Vegas. She opened at the Dunes Hotel in a production of "Guys and Doll", which eventually became a road show. After being a co-host at the Academy Awards in 1972, she experienced trouble breathing and was rushed to a hospital. A heavy smoker, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Without health insurance, she continued to work to pay her hospital bills using a wig to cover her balding head from the chemotherapy. Time and time again, she was hospitalized at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica as the disease continued to spread; she died on the last admission age the age of 56. The funeral was held at All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills, which was packed with about every Hollywood show person. From her 1942 film "Springtime in the Rockies", the song "I Had the Craziest Dream" was played during her funeral on the church organ. During the war years, she was the highest paid performer in films and earned over five million dollars in her career, yet upon her death, she had many outstanding debts, from hospital bills to taxes. Her Nevada home was sold to the nearby Tropicana Hotel at auction. A note was left in her empty safety deposit box, "Sorry, there's nothing more". She was in the top ten in box office rankings from 1941 to 1951, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6525 Hollywood Boulevard and credited with 62 films.

Bio by: Linda Davis

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 409
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Betty Grable (18 Dec 1916–2 Jul 1973), Find A Grave Memorial no. 409, citing Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .