Betty Grable Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (30)  | Personal Quotes (17)  | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Died in Santa Monica, California, USA  (lung cancer)
Birth NameElizabeth Ruth Grable
Nicknames The Girl With the Million Dollar Legs
The Pin-Up Girl
America's Ideal Girl
The Quicksilver Blonde
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Elizabeth Ruth Grable was born on December 18, 1916 in St. Louis, Missouri, to Lillian Rose (Hofmann) and John Charles Grable, a stockbroker. She had German, English, Irish, and Dutch ancestry. Her mother was a stubborn and materialistic woman determined to make her daughter a star. Elizabeth, who later became Betty, was enrolled in Clark's Dancing School at the age of three. With her mother's guidance, Betty studied ballet and tap dancing.

Betty and her mother set out for Hollywood with the hopes of stardom. Lillian lied about her daughter's age, and Betty (real age 13), landed several minor parts in films in 1930, such as Whoopee! (1930), New Movietone Follies of 1930 (1930), Happy Days (1929) and Let's Go Places (1930). In 1932 (real age 15), she signed with RKO Radio Pictures. The bit parts continued for the next three years. Betty finally landed a substantial part in By Your Leave (1934). One of her big roles was in College Swing (1938). Unfortunately, the public did not seem to take notice.

The following year, she married former child star Jackie Coogan. His success boosted hers, but they divorced in 1940. When she landed the role of Glenda Crawford in Down Argentine Way (1940), the public finally took notice of this shining bright star. Stardom came in such comedies as Coney Island (1943) and Sweet Rosie O'Grady (1943).

The public was enchanted with Betty. Her famous pin-up pose during World War II adorned barracks all around the world. With that pin-up and as the star of lavish musicals, Betty became the highest-paid star in Hollywood. After the war, her star continued to rise. In 1947, the United States Treasury Department noted that she was the highest paid star in America, earning about $300,000 a year - a phenomenal sum even by today's standards. Later, 20th Century-Fox, who had her under contract, insured her legs with Lloyds of London for a million dollars. She continued to be popular until the mid-1950s, when musicals went into a decline. Her last film was How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955).

She then concentrated on Broadway and nightclubs. In 1965, she divorced band leader Harry James, whom she had wed in 1943. Her life was an active one, devoid of the scandals that plagued many stars in one way or another. She cared more for her family than stardom.

Betty Grable died at age 56 of lung cancer on July 2, 1973 in Santa Monica, California, five days before Veronica Lake's death. She was interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson/Robert Sieger

Spouse (2)

Harry James (5 July 1943 - 9 October 1965) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Jackie Coogan (20 November 1937 - 8 October 1940) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (4)

Platinum blonde hair and pale skin
Blue eyes
Her sexy legs
Voluptuous figure

Trivia (30)

Ex-husband Harry James died on what would have been their 40th anniversary.
In the late 1940s, 20th Century Fox insured her legs with Lloyds of London for a quarter million dollars.
In 1946-1947, the Treasury Department noted that she was the highest paid woman in America, receiving $300,000 a year.
Was one of the 20 original The Goldwyn Girls, among whom were Lucille Ball, Virginia Bruce, Ann Dvorak and Paulette Goddard.
Voted Best Figure of 1941.
Suffered from "demophobia" (fear of crowds) and was a somnambulist (sleepwalker).
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6525 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
Did Playtex 18-hour Shortie commercials in the 1960s using her famous pin-up pose -- purportedly because she needed the money after her husband had spent her savings.
Singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka's song "Betty Grable" was dedicated to her memory.
Portrayed by Jayne Mansfield in the biography The George Raft Story (1961). However, at the time she was not public domain so the character's name was changed to Lisa.
She and Harry James had two daughters: Victoria Elizabeth James (born March 3, 1944) and Jessica James (born May 20, 1947 - March 20, 2016).
In How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), her character makes a pointed reference to Harry James while listening to the radio at the lodge (Grable was married to him at the time). The song playing on the radio is "You'll Never Know", from Hello Frisco, Hello (1943), and was sung in the film by Alice Faye. It won the Academy Award as Best Song in 1943 (Source: AMPAS).
In Italy, her films were often dubbed by Rosetta Calavetta and Dhia Cristiani. She was occasionally dubbed by Lydia Simoneschi and Clelia Bernacchi.
Her stepson, Tim James, was an attorney working with the then Attorney General of Texas and became responsible for enticing television personality Marvin Zindler of Houston to investigate the famous Chicken Ranch brothel in La Grange, Texas - eventually closing it down. The story became the basis of the Broadway and movie musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982).
Inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 1990 and the Hall of Famous Missourians in 2009.
She was a lifelong Republican and conservative.
She appeared with former Fox co-star Dick Haymes as presenters at the 1972 Oscar ceremony.
When Shelley Winters bowed out of Pickup on South Street (1953), a pregnant Grable turned down the offer of starring in the film noir, and the role went to Jean Peters.
Samuel Goldwyn considered her seriously for Guys and Dolls (1955), but when her dog broke its leg, Grable canceled an appointment with him. A miffed Goldwyn then gave the original Adelaide, former Fox co-worker Vivian Blaine, the role.
Made her film debut at age 13 in a Fox quickie, "Let's Go Places" in 1930. She lied about her age, stating she was 15.
While attending Hollywood Professional School, she developed a musical act with a friend, Emylyn Pique (born Juanita Emylyn Pique), who later took the name Mitzi Mayfair.
Very early in her career, Grable sang with the Ted Fio Rito Orchestra. Having appeared on Broadway in "DuBarry Was a Lady" and "Hello, Dolly!", Grable would later state, jokingly, "The only trouble was I couldn't sing".
At one point during the 1940s, Grable reportedly earned $300,000 a year, making her one of the world's highest paid women. Her films earned over $15 million for 20th Century Fox.
She was offered the Anne Baxter role in The Razor's Edge (1946) but turned it down. Baxter ultimately won an Oscar as Sophie MacDonald.
Had appeared with John Payne in five films: College Swing (1938), Tin Pan Alley (1940), Footlight Serenade (1942), Springtime in the Rockies (1942) and The Dolly Sisters (1945).
In the famous pin-up pic of Betty Grable, she was wearing an ankle bracelet given to her by her then-suitor, George Raft.
In 1935 Betty Grable had a pet white cat named "Whitey" who could go limp in her arms and "play dead". RKO Radio shot some publicity photos of her with Whitey.
Her image appears on the cover of the music CD Electric Swing Fever.
Delivered her daughters Victoria and Jessica via Caesarean section. Had hoped to have more children but doctors advised against a third operation.
Betty and her 20th Century Fox rival, Alice Faye, were good friends, until Betty's death from cancer on July 2, 1973.

Personal Quotes (17)

The woman's vision is deep-reaching, the man's far-reaching. With the man the world is his heart, with the woman the heart is her world.
You're better off betting on a horse than betting on a man. A horse may not be able to hold you tight, but he doesn't wanna wander from the stable at night.
There are two reasons why I am successful in show business and I am standing on both of them.
It's loud, it's cheap, it's gaudy. It's like everything I've ever done - I LOVE IT!
I'm strictly an enlisted man's girl.
I'm a song-and-dance girl. I can act enough to get by. But that's the limit of my talents.
The practice of putting women on pedestals began to die out when it was discovered that they could give orders better from there.
[on Alice Faye] Alice is a darling. Everybody loves her.
There's nothing mysterious about me.
My legs made me.
[on Marilyn Monroe] It may sound peculiar to say so, because she is no longer with us, but we were very close. Once when we were doing that picture How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) together, I got a call on the set: my younger daughter had had a fall. I ran home and the one person to call was Marilyn. She did an awful lot to boost things up for movies when everything was at a low state; there'll never be anyone like her for looks, for attitude, for all of it.
[Concerning her and other stars' status as World War II pin-up queens] A lot of these kids don't have any women in their life to fight for - I guess what you would call us girls is kind of their inspiration. It is a grave responsibility.
[When asked if her status as new mother threatened her image] I never thought of it. If they don't like it, the devil with 'em. Fact is, I've more fan mail since, especially from servicemen telling me about their wives and babies.
[on her November 19, 1937 marriage] I want to be Mrs. Jackie Coogan for life. [They divorced three months later].
Grable played the only two straight roles of her career in 1941, A Yank in the R.A.F. (1941) and I Wake Up Screaming (1941).
[In 1942] Maybe it's a wholesome quality or an American girl quality. People write to me as if I were a sister or friend.
She was everything to him (Desi Arnaz). It was always Lucy, Lucy, Lucy. She was his life.

Salary (1)

The Perry Como Show (1948) $12,500

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