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Hutton visiting American sailors and Marines in the Marshall Islands in December 1944
Elizabeth June Thornburg|
February 26, 1921
Battle Creek, Michigan, U.S.
March 11, 2007 (aged 86)|
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
Ted Briskin (1945–1950) (divorced) 2 children|
Alan W. Livingston
Pete Candoli (1960–1967) (divorced) 1 child
Betty Hutton (February 26, 1921 – March 11, 2007) was an American stage, film, and television actress and singer.
Hutton was born as Elizabeth June Thornburg, a daughter of railroad foreman Percy E. Thornburg (1896-1939) and his wife, the former Mabel Lum (1901-1967). Her father abandoned the family for another woman and they did not hear from or see him again until they received a telegram, in 1939, informing them of his death from suicide. Along with her older sister Marion, Betty was raised by her mother, who took the surname Hutton and was later billed as the actress Sissy Jones.
The three started singing in the family's speakeasy when Betty was 3 years old. Related troubles with the police kept the family on the move, and eventually they moved to Detroit. When interviewed as an established star appearing at the premiere of Let's Dance (1950), her mother — arriving with her, and following a police escort — quipped, "At least this time the police are in front of us!" Hutton sang in several local bands as a teenager, and at one point visited New York City hoping to perform on Broadway, where she was rejected.
A few years later, she was scouted by orchestra leader Vincent Lopez, who gave Hutton her entry into entertainment. In 1939, she appeared in several musical shorts for Warner Bros., and appeared in a supporting role on Broadway in Panama Hattie (starring Ethel Merman) and Two for the Show, both produced by Buddy DeSylva.
When DeSylva became a producer at Paramount Pictures, Hutton was signed to a featured role in The Fleet's In (1942) which starred Paramount's number one female star Dorothy Lamour. Hutton made an instant impact with the moviegoing public, but Paramount did not immediately promote her to major stardom. It gave her second leads in a Mary Martin film musical, Star Spangled Rhythm (1943), and another Lamour film before casting Hutton as the co-star of Bob Hope in Let's Face It (1943). Following the release of The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), Hutton was indisputably a major star, and with the release of Incendiary Blonde (1945), she had supplanted Lamour as Paramount's number one female box office attraction.
Hutton made 19 films from 1942 to 1952 including a hugely popular The Perils of Pauline in 1947. She was billed over Fred Astaire in the 1950 musical Let's Dance. Hutton's greatest screen triumph came in Annie Get Your Gun (1950) for MGM, which hired her to replace an exhausted Judy Garland in the role of Annie Oakley. The film and the leading role, retooled for Hutton, was a smash hit, with the biggest critical praise going to Hutton. (Her obituary in The New York Times described her as "a brassy, energetic performer with a voice that could sound like a fire alarm.") Hutton, however, like Garland, was earning a reputation for being extremely difficult.
In 1944, she signed with Capitol Records, one of the earliest artists to do so, but became unhappy with its management and later signed with RCA Victor. Among her many films was an unbilled cameo in Sailor Beware (1952) with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, in which she portrayed Dean's girlfriend, Hetty Button.
Her time as a Hollywood star came to an end due to contract disagreements with Paramount following the Oscar-winning The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) and Somebody Loves Me (1952), a biopic of singer Blossom Seeley. The New York Times indicated that her film career ended because of her insistence that her husband at the time, Charles O'Curran, direct her next film; when the studio declined, Hutton broke her contract. Hutton's last completed film was a small one, 1957's Spring Reunion. She gave an understated, sensitive performance in the drama, but box office receipts seemed to show that the public didn't accept a subdued Hutton.
Hutton worked in radio, appeared in Las Vegas and in nightclubs, then tried her luck on the new medium of television. An original musical TV spectacular written especially for Hutton, Satin and Spurs (1954), was an enormous flop with the public and critics, despite being one of the first television programs televised nationally by NBC in compatible color. Desilu Productions took a chance on Hutton and in 1959 gave her a sitcom The Betty Hutton Show, which quickly faded. Hutton returned to Broadway briefly when she temporarily replaced a hospitalized Carol Burnett in the show Fade Out - Fade In in 1964. In 1967, she was signed to star in two low-budget westerns for Paramount, but was fired shortly after the projects began.
Afterwards, Hutton had trouble with alcohol and substance abuse (sleeping pills), attempting suicide after losing her singing voice in 1970 and having a nervous breakdown. She divorced her fourth husband, jazz trumpeter Pete Candoli, and declared herself bankrupt. Renewed interest was generated in a well-publicized "Love-In for Betty Hutton" held at New York City's Riverboat Restaurant, emceed by comedian Joey Adams, with several old Hollywood pals on hand. The 1974 event raised $10,000 (USD) for Hutton and gave her spirits a big boost. Steady work, unfortunately, still eluded her. She appeared in an interview with Mike Douglas and a brief guest appearance in 1975 on Baretta.
After regaining control of her life through rehab, and the mentorship of a Roman Catholic priest, Father Peter Maguire, Hutton converted to Roman Catholicism and took a job as a cook at a rectory in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. A 9th grade drop-out, Hutton went back to school and later received her Master's Degree in psychology from Salve Regina University. During her time at college, Hutton became friends with Kristin Hersh and attended several early Throwing Muses concerts. Hersh would later write Elizabeth June as a tribute to her friend. Hutton went on to work as a casino hostess, charity counselor and acting teacher into the late 1980s.
Hutton followed Dorothy Loudon as the evil Miss Hannigan in Annie on Broadway in 1980. Her last known performance in any medium was on Jukebox Saturday Night, which aired on PBS in 1983. After the death of her ally Father Maguire, Hutton returned to California, moving to Palm Springs in 1999 after decades in New England. Hutton hoped to become closer to her daughters and grandchildren, as she told Robert Osborne on TCM's Private Screenings in April 2000, though her children remained distant. She told Osborne that she understood their hesitancy to accept a now elderly mother. The TCM interview first aired on July 18, 2000. The program was rerun as a memorial on the evening of her death in 2007, and again on July 11, 2008 and April 14, 2009.
Hutton's first marriage was to camera manufacturer Ted Briskin on September 3, 1945; they divorced in 1950. Two daughters were born to the couple, Lindsay Diane Briskin (born 1946) and Candice Elizabeth Briskin (born 1948). Hutton's second marriage was in 1952 to choreographer Charles O'Curran, and they divorced in 1955; he died in 1984.
Her third marriage was in 1955 to Alan W. Livingston, an executive with Capitol Records, who had created Bozo the Clown; they divorced five years later, although some accounts refer to this as a nine-month marriage.
Her fourth and final marriage was in 1960 to jazz trumpeter Pete Candoli, a brother of Conte Candoli. Hutton and Candoli had one child, Carolyn Candoli (born 1962) and then divorced in 1967 (although some accounts place the year as 1964).
|Year||Title||Chart peak||Catalog number||Notes|
|1939||"Old Man Mose"||with Vincent Lopez Orchestra|
|"Igloo"||15||Bluebird 10300||with Vincent Lopez Orchestra|
|"The Jitterbug"||Bluebird 10367||with Vincent Lopez Orchestra|
|1942||"Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry"|
|"I'm Doin' It For Defense"|
|1943||"Murder, He Says"|
|"The Fuddy Duddy Watchmaker"|
|1944||"Bluebirds In My Belfry"|
|"His Rocking Horse Ran Away"||7||Capitol 155||with Paul Weston Orchestra|
|"It Had To Be You"||5||Capitol 155||with Paul Weston Orchestra|
|1945||"Stuff Like That There"||4||Capitol 188||with Paul Weston Orchestra|
|"What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?"||15||Capitol 211||with Paul Weston Orchestra|
|"(Doin' It) The Hard Way"||Capitol 211||with Paul Weston Orchestra|
|"Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief"||1||Capitol 220||with Paul Weston Orchestra|
|"A Square In The Social Circle"||Capitol 220||with Paul Weston Orchestra|
|1946||"My Fickle Eye"||21||RCA Victor 20-1915||with Joe Lilley Orchestra|
|1947||"Poppa, Don't Preach To Me"||Capitol 380||with Joe Lilley Orchestra|
|"I Wish I Didn't Love You So"||Capitol 409||with Joe Lilley Orchestra|
|1949||"(Where Are You?) Now That I Need You"||Capitol 620||with Joe Lilley Orchestra|
|1950||"Orange Colored Sky"||24||RCA Victor 20-3908||with Pete Rugolo Orchestra|
|"Can't Stop Talking"||RCA Victor 20-3908||with Pete Rugolo Orchestra|
|"A Bushel And A Peck" (duet with Perry Como)||3||RCA Victor 20-3930||with Mitchell Ayres Orchestra|
|1951||"It's Oh So Quiet"||RCA Victor 20-4179||with Pete Rugolo Orchestra|
|"The Musicians" (with Dinah Shore, Tony Martin and Phil Harris)||24||RCA Victor 20-4225||with Henri René Orchestra|
|1953||"Goin' Steady"||21||Capitol 2522||with Nelson Riddle Orchestra|
|1954||"The Honeymoon's Over" (duet with Tennessee Ernie Ford)||16||Capitol 2809||with Billy May Orchestra|
|1956||"Hit The Road To Dreamland"||Capitol 3383||with Vic Schoen Orchestra|
|1938||Queens of the Air||Herself||film short|
|1939||Vincent Lopez and His Orchestra||Herself||film short|
|Three Kings and a Queen||Herself||film short|
|Public Jitterbug No. 1||Public Jitterbug No. 1||film short|
|1940||One for the Book||Cinderella||film short|
|1942||The Fleet's In||Bessie Day|
|Star Spangled Rhythm||Polly Judson|
|1943||Happy Go Lucky||Bubbles Hennessy|
|Let's Face It||Winnie Porter|
|Strictly G.I.||Herself||film short|
|1944||The Miracle of Morgan's Creek||Trudy Kockenlocker|
|And the Angels Sing||Bobby Angel|
|Skirmish on the Home Front||Emily Average||film short|
|Here Come the Waves||Susan/Rosemary Allison|
|1945||Incendiary Blonde||Texas Guinan|
|The Stork Club||Judy Peabody|
|Hollywood Victory Caravan||Herself||film short|
|1946||Cross My Heart||Peggy Harper|
|1947||The Perils of Pauline||Pearl White|
|1948||Dream Girl||Georgina Allerton|
|1949||Red, Hot and Blue||Eleanor "Yum-Yum" Collier|
|1950||Annie Get Your Gun||Annie Oakley|
|Let's Dance||Kitty McNeil|
|1952||The Greatest Show on Earth||Holly|
|Sailor Beware||Hetty Button||uncredited cameo|
|Somebody Loves Me||Blossom Seeley|
|1957||Spring Reunion||Margaret "Maggie" Brewster|
|1958||That's My Mom||1 episode (unaired pilot)|
|1959-1960||The Betty Hutton Show||Goldie Appleby||30 episodes|
|1964||The Greatest Show on Earth||Julia Dana||1 episode|
|1964-1965||Burke's Law|| Carlene Glory|
|1965||Gunsmoke||Molly McConnell||1 episode|
Awards and nominations
|1944||Golden Apple Awards||Won||Most Cooperative Actress|
|1951||Golden Globe Award||Nominated||Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy||Annie Get Your Gun|
|1950||Photoplay Awards||Won||Most Popular Female Star||Annie Get Your Gun|
- ↑ "Betty Hutton, Hollywood actress: 86". Associated Press. 2007-03-13. http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070315/NATIONWORLD/703150426/1012/NATIONWORLD. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- ↑ Panama Hattie opening night cast at IBDB
- ↑ Two For The Show opening night cast at IBDB
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Severo, Richard (2007-03-14). "Betty Hutton, Film Star of ’40s and ’50s, Dies at 86". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/14/movies/14hutton.html. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
- ↑ Satin and Spurs (TV) at IMDB
- ↑ Fade Out - Fade In replacement cast members at IBDB
- ↑ Annie replacement cast members at IBDB
- ↑ Jukebox Saturday Night at IMDB
- ↑ Robert Osborne interview on TCM, video, 60 minutes
- Gene Arceri Rocking Horse, a Personal Biography of Betty Hutton, 2009, BearManor Media
- Betty Hutton Backstage You Can Have: My Own Story, 2009 The Betty Hutton Estate
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Betty Hutton|
- Betty Hutton at the Internet Broadway Database
- Betty Hutton at the Internet Movie Database
- Template:Tcmdb name
- satinsandspurs.com The Betty Hutton Website
- Betty Hutton at who2.com
- Time Magazine article, April 24, 1950
- Denny Jackson's Betty Hutton Page (fan site)
- Betty Hutton at BroadwayWorld.com
- Betty Hutton at Find a Grave