- NAME: Betty Hutton
- OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Singer
- BIRTH DATE: February 26, 1921
- DEATH DATE: March 11, 2007
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Battle Creek, Michigan
- PLACE OF DEATH: Palm Springs, California
- Originally: Elizabeth Jane Thornburg
- AKA: Elizabeth Thornburg
- AKA: Betty Hutton
- AKA: Elizabeth June Thornburg
- Full Name: Elizabeth Jane Hutton
- AKA: Elizabeth June Hutton
- AKA: Elizabeth Hutton
- Nickname: "The Blond Bombshell"
- Nickname: "The Blond Blitz"
Best Known For
A popular film actress of the 1940s and 1950s, Betty Hutton starred in such films as Annie Get Your Gun and Greatest Show on Earth.
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Born in Michigan in 1921, Betty Hutton began singing as a child. She later sang on the street to help earn money for her family. In her teens, Hutton began performing in nightclubs. She later sang with bandleader Vincent Lopez's group. In 1940, she performed on Broadway in Two for the Show. She soon moved to film, earning parts in 1942's The Fleet's In and 1944's The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, among other roles. Hutton starred in one of her most famous films,
"My husbands all fell in love with Betty Hutton. None of them fell in love with me."
"Professionally, my career was great. But never was the scene offstage great for me."
"I quit school when I was 9 years old and starting singing on street corners because my mother was an alcoholic."
Annie Get Your Gun, in 1950. By the 1960s, she had largely dropped out of sight. Hutton became a drama teacher in her later years. She died in 2007 in California.
Born Elizabeth Jane Thornburg on February 26, 1921, in Battle Creek, Michigan, entertainer Betty Hutton started performing at a young age. Her father walked out on the family when she was a toddler, and her mother did what she could to take care of Betty and her sister, Marion, including selling homemade gin and beer during Prohibition. At the age of 3, Hutton began singing as a way to earn spare change from her mother's customers.
According to the Washington Post, Hutton's family situation grew more dire over the years: "I quit school when I was 9 years old and starting singing on street corners because my mother was an alcoholic," Hutton later explained. By age 15, Hutton was working professionally, appearing in a Detroit nightclub. There, she was discovered by bandleader Vincent Lopez. It was Lopez's idea for her change her last name to Hutton.
After performing with Lopez for a time, Hutton went out on her own. She made her Broadway debut in 1940's Two for the Show. Later that year, she appeared with Ethel Merman in Panama Hattie. Soon, she moved to film, brought out to Hollywood by a Paramount executive.
Hutton brought an explosive energy to her movie roles, beginning with 1942's The Fleet's In with Dorothy Lamour and William Holden. Two years later, she starred in the 1944 wartime comedy The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, directed by Preston Sturges, and her platinum locks and curvy figure quickly earned her nicknames such as "the Blond Bombshell" and "the Blond Blitz."
More starring film roles soon followed. In 1945, Hutton played entertainer Texas Guinan in Incendiary Blonde. She then brought the life of silent film star Pearl White to the big screen in 1947's The Perils of Pauline. In 1950, the actress tackled perhaps her most famous role in the hit musical Annie Get Your Gun, about famed sharpshooter and western star Annie Oakley.
Hutton had two major film projects in 1952: She starred in Cecil B. DeMille's grand spectacular Greatest Show on Earth and in the biopic Somebody Loves Me, based on the life and career of vaudeville singer and actress Blossom Seeley. These movies proved to be two of Hutton's final big screen efforts.
Hutton walked out on her film contract after a dispute with the studio.
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