- 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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She wanted her second husband, Charles O'Curran, to be her director, and the studio refused. After her split from Paramount, Hutton only made one more film: the 1957 low-budget drama Spring Reunion. Two years later, she tried her luck with television, starring on The Betty Hutton Show. The program lasted only one season.
As her career faded, Hutton fell prey to her personal demons and financial woes. She abused sleeping pills and other drugs for many years. In 1967,
she declared bankruptcy, having spent the $9 million to $10 million that she had earned during her heyday. A few years later, she had a mental breakdown, subsequently spending time in a treatment facility.
With the help of Father Peter Maguire, Hutton managed to turn her life around. She became a Catholic and spent years working in his church in Rhode Island. In 1980, she returned to the Broadway stage in the musical Annie. Also around this time, she became a drama teacher at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.
After Maguire's death in 1996, Hutton moved to Palm Springs, California, hoping to reconcile with her three daughters who lived in the state. Married four times, Hutton had two children, Candy and Lindsay, with her first husband, Ted Briskin. Her third child, Caroline, was from her fourth marriage to jazz musician Pete Candoli. "My husbands all fell in love with Betty Hutton," the famous blond bombshell once said, according to The New York Times. "None of them fell in love with me."
Hutton died of complications from colon cancer on March 11, 2007, at the age of 86, in her Palm Springs home. There was a small, private service to mark her passing, which her daughters did not attend. Despite her efforts, Hutton had not been able to mend the rift between her and her children.
Whatever she experienced in her personal life, there is no question that Betty Hutton left an indelible mark on the world of film. "The thing about Betty Hutton was she could sing a song and break your heart, and she was a very good actress," Robert Osborne, TV host and film historian, told the Los Angeles Times. "Behind the zaniness there was a very sweet, vulnerable person."
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