Betty Garrett has died. The actress played Frank Sinatra's sweetheart in the MGM musical Take Me Out to the Ballgame. She was later blacklisted and her career came to a screeching halt.
She was born in 1919 in St. Louis, Missouri to a Roman Catholic family. Her father was a traveling salesman who moved his family to Seattle. When Garrett was only two, he died of chronic alcoholism.
From that point, her mother staked their claim on her daughterÂ’s talent and love for dancing and singing by setting out for New York City. Garrett was the recipient of a scholarship to the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse when she was only 17.
She would go on to star in various plays and musicals. Before Betty Garrett died, she never forgot her humble beginnings; she still loved theater and acting.
Garrett's moment ofÂ discovery came when she belted out the tune, South America-Take it Away in the MGM musical Call Me Mister in 1946. At 27, the offers began to roll in for the spirited entertainer, who her son says, Â“loved the stage and singingÂ”.
Her forte' was comedy in the most dynamic of means. She loved the stage and loved to perform. Other than the two MGM pictures with Frank Sinatra, she played alongside Gene Kelly and Red Skelton. In fact, Betty Garrett and Skelton sang the timeless song, Baby it's Cold Outside, long before she died.
She later married Academy-Award nominated actor Larry Parks. It appears their entire marriage carried around a dark veil ever since congress summoned Parks to testify about his role in the Communist Party. It was a longstanding investigation during the 1940's, but it would lead to both the Garrett's blacklisting in Hollywood.
They set out on their own in a Las Vegas comedy act that did well until things went belly-up. Her husband would later die in 1975, and Garrett described the so-called-Red Hunt congressional investigation as a "foolish time" in their lives.
Garrett didn't stop there; she went on the star in various television roles. She played in recurring roles in "All in the Family" as the tough-talking nemesis of Archie Bunker. She also starred in Laverne and Shirley.
Betty Garrett died Saturday of an aortic aneurysm atÂ Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The beloved actress/entertainer was 91.
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