Betty Garrett

Betty Garrett

Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, USA
Death 12 Feb 2011 (aged 91)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend
Memorial ID 65638424 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Actress. An accomplished performer on Broadway and in films, she will be best remembered for her roles on two of television's most successful sitcoms of the 1970s: "All In The Family", as outspoken neighbor Irene Lorenzo, and "Laverne and Shirley", as landlady Edna Babish. The Missouri native was raised in Seattle, Washington, where she earned a scholarship to the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. There she studied dance, music and drama under the guidance of renowned instructor Martha Graham. She honed her skills in the Borscht Belt, performing with such up and coming talents as Danny Kaye, Jerome Robbins, and Imogene Coca, and made her Broadway debut in the revue "Of V We Sing" (1942). She would appear in several more Broadway productions, even understudying for Ethel Merman in Cole Porter's "Something for The Boys". In 1944 Garrett married fellow actor Larry Parks. Scouted by MGM, she was signed to a contract and made her film debut portraying nightclub performer Shoo Shoo O'Grady in "Big City" (1948). A succession of films would follow, "Words and Music" (1948), "On the Town" (1949), "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" (1949), and "Neptune's Daughter" (1949). The 1950s were a difficult period for both Garrett and her husband. Due to their earlier left-wing politics they both became embroiled with the House Un-American Activities Committee, although only Parks was forced to testify. He admitted past involvement within the Communist Party but initially refused to name others, though he did later. Despite his testimony he found himself on the Hollywood blacklist. Garrett also had trouble finding work, though she enjoyed the extra time she was able to spend raising their two children. In 1973 she was cast as Irene Lorenzo on "All In The Family," and remained in the role until 1975, the same year her husband died. The following year ABC introduced a spin-off of "Happy Days" called "Laverne and Shirley" and Garrett was cast as landlady Edna Babish, a role that would earn her a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress - Television. In later years she remained active in the theatre and made guest appearances on the TV shows "Murder, She Wrote", "The Golden Girls", "Boston Public", "Becker" and "Grey's Anatomy". Her last role was in the film "Dark and Stormy Night" (2009). For her contributions to the entertainment industry she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located on the on 6700 block of Hollywood Boulevard. She died at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles from an aortic aneurysm.

Bio by: katzizkidz

Family Members



See more Garrett memorials in:


How famous was Betty Garrett?

Current rating:

258 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Shane Usary
  • Added: 14 Feb 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 65638424
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Betty Garrett (23 May 1919–12 Feb 2011), Find a Grave Memorial no. 65638424, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.