the official website of the
Betty Hutton Estate
Please direct all E-mail inquiries to:
Drop us a line...
This site was first published to the internet on March 1, 2010. We wanted the site up and ready on Betty's birthday, February 26, but we were unable to meet that symbolic deadline. As time goes by, we will be adding additional information about the woman, her life, and her career. Please be patient! In addition, if any of you have anything unique pertaining to Betty that you would personally like to share with our viewers, please E-mail us and tell us about it. We always welcome your questions and comments. We hope you enjoy this, the official site, of actress, Betty Hutton!
You can also always send mail to us at our physical mailing address:
The Betty Hutton Estate
P.O. Box 3124 - Palm Springs, CA 92263
Today, the Betty Hutton Estate received one of the finest gifts that anyone could send us! Two boxes, (probably 75 lbs.), of Betty's personal papers, pictures, writings, and other materials pertaining to her career. This gift was made to the estate by a woman who had been a very dear friend and teacher to Betty during her days in Rhode Island. The woman, Sister Sheila Megley was a professor at Salve Regina, and was instrumental in assisting Betty in the early stages of putting together her book, "Backstage You Can Have". Although the book was never finished by Betty and Sister, they made some very good progress in organizing some ofBetty's personal materials and cataloging many of her thoughts. For all these years, Sister has been caring for these boxes of materials that Betty left with her. Sister took us completely by surprise by informing us that she was sending the materials with a simple e-mail a few days before the packages actually arrived here in Palm Springs. We can not thank Sister enough, nor can we relay exactly how important it is for us to have this priceless collection.
THANK YOU, SISTER SHEILA!!
October 2, 2013
We are extremely sad to report the passing of Betty's dear friend and mentor, Mr. A. C. Lyles from Paramount Studios. A. C. worked at Paramount for three-quarters of a century, rising from mail boy to producer. Most recently he acted as goodwill ambassador at the studio.Mr. Lyles died at home in Los Angeles on Sept. 27, 2013. He was 95.
July 28, 2013
The following is a wondeful note left to us today by H. Alton Rivers of Chapel Hill, North Carolina:
I fell in love with Betty Hutton as I watched her in "Perils of
Pauline". I was 9. I adored her in each movie she made, but especially
"Somebody Loves Me". She was simply perfect in it.
A big thank you to H. Alton Rivers for sharing his wonderful Betty Hutton story with us here for all to enjoy!
February 26, 2013
Betty's Star Ceremony
Betty's Star Installation Ceremony on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars took place at 11:00am on February 26, 2013. The star dedication was coordinated with Betty's 92nd birthday. It started out as a cool morning, but temperatures quickly climbed into the mid 70s under a bright Southern California sun. Everyone in attendance was able to fully enjoy the ceremony as they relaxed in the warm sun on the sidewalk where the star was unveiled. For additional pictures from the event, please see the Betty Star Ceremony page. It was indeed a special day for all who attended!
Betty's new star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars on Palm Canyon Dr. in Downtown Palm Springs at is looked immediately after being unveiled on Monday, February 26, 2013.
February 25, 2013
Betty's Star Being Installed
A first look at Betty's new star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars on Palm Canyon Dr. in Downtown Palm Springs as it is being installed on the sidewalk on Monday, February 25, 2013.
A closer look at Betty's new star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars on Palm Canyon Dr. in Downtown Palm Springs as it is being installed.
The star is located directly across the street from the historic Plaza Theater on Palm Canyon Dr. Betty's star is located next to that of Loretta Young.
February 20, 2013
Betty's Star Ceremony
The Betty Hutton Estate hopes all of our followers are enjoying a happy and healthy New Year!
We want to update all of you on the status of the Betty Star Project on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. Thankfully we managed to raise the necessary $10,000 for the star installation! A sincere thank you to those people who assisted us in reaching our goal! Everything is now definite, and the installation ceremony will happen on Betty's Birthday, February 26, 2013. The event will start promptly at 11:00am in the morning. We are anticipating a large turnout for Betty's Star, so if you plan on coming, please arrive early. So far, we have scheduled MGM, Academy Award winning child actress, Miss Margaret O'Brien and the wonderfully talented Miss Ruta Lee as two of our guest speakers.
Miss Ruta Lee was signed by MGM as the youngest of the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and subsequently in Funny Face with Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. She went on to star as Tyrone Power's secret love in Witness for the Prosecution, and Frank Sinatra's leading lady in Sergeant's Three. These are but a few of the many films in her credits. At the same time, Lee launched into television, with over 2000 appearances on shows from Perry Mason to Power Rangers, Twilight Zone to Murder She Wrote, Hogan's Heroes to Love Boat, and Roseanne. We are delighted that she will be joining us and she will surely add to the glamor of our celebration.
Arguably, Miss Margaret O'Brien's most memorable role was as "Tootie" in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), opposite Judy Garland. Miss O'Brien had, by this time, added singing and dancing to her achievements and was rewarded with an Academy Juvenile Award the following year as the "outstanding child actress of 1944."
Also speaking will be Randal Malone, President of the Southern California Motion Picture Council. Judy Rector, Betty's dear friend from Newport, RI will fly in with her husband Peter to speak and help us celebrate. We have also talked with Carol Channing, a part year Palm Springs resident, about speaking at Betty's Star dedication. Carol Channing will be present if her health on that day permits!
PLEASE: Anyone who takes photos or video during the ceremony is invited to submit these to us for posting on this site. We would really appreciate your assistance. Send photos along with your name, etc. to: BettyHuttonEstate@dc.rr.com
We will post photos on a special Star Ceremony page here on BettyHuttonEstate.com after the event!
August 10, 2012
Have a look at the new Charter Communications commercial that was recently completed using a clip of Betty Hutton from Annie Get Your Gun. We think it is a fun ad because it is along the lines of Betty's sense of humor!
April 4, 2012
Starting today, Betty's autobiography will be available as an E-Book on Amazon.com
Yes, we have finally joined the digital book age by releasing Betty's autobiography as a Kindle E-book! Starting today the digital form of Backstage You Can Have: My Own Story is available on Amazon for $12.99. This is a big savings from the print edition. The E-book is exactly the same as the print edition; including the same 70 photos.
We have been asked many times in the past if we would be releasing the book in digital form at some point. We have been a bit reluctant, but hey, we too have a Kindle, a Nook, and an iPad in our own home, and are guessing that many other people are fast making the digital transition. I admit, I still prefer to read a book on paper pages, but am quite sure that "habit" can be changed with a bit of practice! Press the blue Amazon.com above - it will take you directly to the Backstage You Can Have Kindle page at Amazon... You can also download a free Kindle app from Amazon for use on your computer (PC or Mac) or tablet, making it totally unnecessary to own a Kindle and still able to access and read thousands and thousands of E-books!
February was time once again to celebrate Betty's Birthday! Watch our NEW video (below) made specifically in honor of Betty's Birthday. Betty sang us her now famous opening number at home in Palm Springs on February 26, 2005 (the day of her actual Birthday). That is followed by Betty performing the same song in front of an audience on "Jukebox Saturday Night", 1983.
Hope you all enjoy...
Cake we had made for Betty on her 84th Birthday, February 26, 2005.
Oil Painting by Silent Film Star
Remember the beautiful oil painting of Betty that The Betty Hutton Estate acquired in November of last year? Well, we had to cleaned (it was quite dirty from years of exposure to the elements) and had it re-framed to freshen and update the look! The new version is shown below. We are really pleased with the final results, and know Betty would be too...
The work of art was created by silent film actress, Mary Brian (1906 - 2002), who spent her later years painting. After Mary Brian's death in 2002, the painting was donated to the Hollywood Heritage Museum where it had been on display for several years.
Watch our newly posted video of rare Betty Hutton performance footage!
This is a video we made a few years back with some rare footage that was sent to us over the years by Hutton fans (sorry, we misplaced their names) who shot the actual clips as Betty was performing! Some of the video is from the Palace Theatre in NYC. There is also footage of Betty with then husband, Alan Livingston, in Las Vegas. We believe the video with her husband to be the evening of November 9, 1954 when she announced her "retirement" from show business at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas. The look on her face is all telling... We had removed the video a long time ago after someone nabbed it on You Tube and posted it as their own. Now that we have the website, things are different, and we are once again posting the video.
October 12, 2011
We hope you all had the opportunity to tune in to the BBC2 radio documentary of Betty Hutton yesterday! It was a great show - as we have come to expect from the BBC. If you didn't get the chance to hear the program, it is available for listening for the next 6 days ONLY. Follow this link, click here, which will take you directly to the program on the BBC2 Radio website! Cheers - and why not enjoy a good cuppa tea while you listen in to some wonderful British Radio...
Recently SOLD at auction! (but not by us, of course...)
THE FOLLOWING WAS SOLD AT AUCTION IN BEVERLY HILLS, CA on June 18, 2011 as part of the Debbie Reynolds costume collection :
One, Betty Hutton “Annie Oakley” complete 10-piece Wild West Show costume from Annie Get Your Gun. (MGM, 1950) Judy Garland was scheduled to play “Annie Oakley” in Annie Get Your Gun, and a number of costumes were made for her, but a few weeks into production it was necessary to replace her with Betty Hutton. Complete outfit of cream suede jacket and two skirts adorned with pink and green floral sequins with matching gloves, hat, boots, belt, and green blouse with scarf. Worn by Betty Hutton as “Annie Oakley” in the Wild West show scene in Annie Get Your Gun. Handwritten label “1450.6433 Betty Hutton.” Costumes designed by Helen Rose.
The outfit sold for $11,000.
Betty is seen here in the recently sold outfit from "Annie Get Your Gun". It had been part of the Debbie Reynolds costume collection.
Feb. 26th, 2012 would have been Betty's 91st Birthday!
Listen to Betty speak on the occasion of her 84th Birthday in 2005! Betty talks casually with friends Carl Bruno and Mike Mayer. (NOTE: Betty was in an assisted living facility at the time due to a fall in which she broke her arm. She makes reference to a man from the front desk wanting cake - a person from the main office in the care facility.)
NEW: January 1, 2011
Chats With Betty Hutton
CD containing 68 minutes of previously unpublished chats with Betty
(see below for details)
Impromptu: Chats With Betty Hutton is available at a discounted price for BettyHuttonEstate.com visitors from Createspace; an Amazon.com Company.
Click here to go to the our Createspace electronic store. When checking out, apply the following discount code to the discount box - 3WEXFNKX
It's just that simple! Your CD will be discounted by 20% - that's Impromptu: Chats With Betty Hutton for $28, the least expensive price you will find the CD at, ANYWHERE!
CD is also available on Amazon.com at the regular retail price of $34.99
List Price: $34.99
68 minutes, 7 tracks
Betty Hutton Estate
During the last several years of her life, actress Betty Hutton loved to sit in a rocking chair on the back porch of her Palm Springs, California home. There she would chat away the hours with friend Carl Bruno. Often times these talks would lead to revelations about her life and career. Many of these impromptu talks were taped at Betty's insistence so that a permanent record was able to be made of how she saw things during her days in the Hollywood limelight.
Here then are segments from these previously unreleased talks where Betty Hutton gets to speak her mind on a variety of subjects in a candid and often revealing way. Although these audio segments have been professionally enhanced, please keep in mind, they were originally recorded on portable audio equipment. We believe you will agree, these audio segments are invaluable in understanding the true woman behind the legendary Hollywood screen name of, Betty Hutton.
1. All I Want For Christmas... Recorded on
December 23, 2004 - 6:02
2. What A Great Film... Recorded on December 28, 2004 - 8:17
3. A Miracle... Recorded on January 11, 2005 - 10:06
4. Stars, Stars, Stars... Recorded on January 29, 2005 - 10:18
5. You Are Never Too Old or Too Rich... Recorded on
February 24, 2005 - 10:45
6. Palm Springs Heyday... Recorded on March 8, 2005 - 15:00
7. I Remember... Recorded on April 11, 2006 - 7:47
Betty's Autobiography Is Finally Here!
Cover of "Backstage You Can Have: My Own Story" by Betty Hutton
"Backstage You Can Have" is AVAILABLE for sale at Createspace, an Amazon company.
We are currently offering a 20% discount off the retail price of the book just for our Betty Hutton Estate website guests! Click here to go to the our Createspace electronic store. When checking out, apply the following discount code to the discount box - SENPDJTR
It's that easy! Your book will be discounted by 20%
"Backstage You Can Have: My Own Story" by Betty Hutton for $21.56
Our way of saying THANK YOU for visiting BettyHuttonEstate.com
The book is also available directly from Amazon.com at the regular retail price of $26.95
Betty Hutton was the top grossing female star at Paramount during much of the 1940s. At the top of her career, she was one of the most celebrated actresses in Hollywood, starring in such movies as "Annie Get Your Gun" and "The Greatest Show On Earth". Without warning, her career and world collapsed virtually overnight. Betty's tumultuous childhood came back to haunt her, and along with it, an addiction to prescription pills that almost ended her life. Betty disappeared from the public eye, until in 1974, when she was discovered living with and caring for priests in a Catholic rectory in Rhode Island. Interest in her and her life returned to the forefront. She began writing this book in 1970, as a means to explain the chain of events that led to her downfall. Sadly, she never finished writing it. After her death in 2007, the Betty Hutton Estate picked up where she left off, and has finally completed her book. Almost 40 years after it was first started, Betty's real story is ready to be told! Includes 70 photos... The book is for sale here, (see link above)., and it is also available exclusively online at Amazon.com
Executor, Carl Bruno (left), of the Betty Hutton Estate and co-author of "Backstage You Can Have" and co-author Michael Mayer speak at a book signing held at the Rancho Mirage, Ca. library on November 17, 2009.
Turner Classic Movie's Robert Osborne introduces Betty's book on TCM after the showing of The Fleet's In.
Check out these great behind-the-scenes photos taken during filming of
The Greatest Show On Earth!
A Rise To Stardom
The Making of Hollywood's "Blonde Bombshell"
There are plenty female stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age who can be given top rankings for being superb beauties and memorable actresses; but there were only a few great entertainers who were in the same league with Betty Hutton. Betty had a dynamic energy that transferred well onto stage and screen and did much to calm and entertain war-weary audiences during the 1940's. Betty is well remembered today for her assertive and humorous novelty tunes that showcased her explosive energy, still, her film roles endure as her most permanent legacy. Because of her high spirits, she became known as the "Blonde Bombshell". Her reign at the top of the film world was a brief 11 years (1942-1952). During that time, she made 20 major feature films. At her peak, she was viewed as a national treasure; one of the most beloved stars and biggest box office attractions on the silver screen. Moviegoers in 1950 named her the year’s Best Actress in a Photoplay magazine poll. Variety even named her 1952's number one female box office attraction. Yet, one year later, her career in film was all but over. Due to a dispute with studio bosses over not allowing her second husband to direct her next film, Betty and Paramount abruptly ended their long and extremely prosperous relationship. Hutton continued to work in radio, appeared several times a year in Las Vegas nightclubs, and eventually tried her luck on the new medium of television; still her career never regained its momentum.
An original musical TV spectacular written especially for Betty, Satins and Spurs (1954), was not well received; despite being one of the first television programs televised nationally by NBC in color. In 1959, Betty took a chance by financially backing her own television sitcom, The Betty Hutton Show. The show lasted for only one season. Fortunately, her greatest performances are forever captured on film and continue to delight movie buffs throughout the world today.
Betty was known as the "Blonde Bombshell" because of her bombastic style and personality. Betty Hutton died at home in Palm Springs, Ca. on March 11, 2007 at the age of 86.
Betty was born Betty June Thornburg on February 26, 1921, in Battle Creek Michigan. Her father, a railroad worker, abandoned the family shortly after Betty was born. In order to support her two daughters, mother Mabel began to bootleg; running several successful speakeasies during the Prohibition Era. When she was only three, Betty and her older sister, Marion, began singing for the patrons. Their family situation was made even worse by the Great Depression and by Mabel’s growing dependence on alcohol. Trouble with police kept the family on the move. Eventually they ended up in Detroit, virtually penniless, before Mrs. Thornburg became employed for a brief time at an auto assembly plant.
Hutton continued singing wherever she could to assist her family financially. By the age of 15, she decided it was time to go to New York and give the big city a try. Told that she'd never make it on the stage, she headed home. After returning to Detroit, at age 16, Betty finally got her big break. It appeared she was on her way to a successful career as a band vocalist when orchestra leader Vincent Lopez spotted the teenager singing in a Detroit nightclub and signed her for $65 a week.
Betty soon began making a name for herself in the entertainment world. During 1939, she appeared in several movie musical shorts and in 1940 she left Lopez for a role in the Broadway musical revue, Two for the Show. Soon after, producer B.G. DeSylva signed her for a part in his Broadway musical, Panama Hattie. When DeSylva took over the production reins at Paramount studios in late 1941, he promised to take Betty along to Hollywood. There she got her first featured role in the movie musical, The Fleet's In (1942), along with Dorothy Lamour, William Holden, and Eddie Bracken. With guidance from Buddy DeSylva, Betty was instantly on her way to a successful film career in Hollywood.
From the early 1940's to the mid 1950's, Betty Hutton was a true Hollywood movie star. Nevertheless, four failed marriages, an inability to manage money, and a reputation for being difficult to work with all eventually took their toll. The final straw for Betty’s short but illustrious career in Hollywood was her disagreement with studio execs that led to walking out on her contract. An unfortunate addiction to prescription drugs quickly descended upon the fallen star.
In the 1970's, with the help of a Rhode Island priest, Betty managed to turn her unhappy personal life around. She went on to earn a college degree from Salve Regina, a Catholic college for women in Newport, Rhode Island. By the late 1980's she was teaching acting to students at Boston's Emerson College.
In 2000, Betty did an hour-long interview for Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Private Screenings: Betty Hutton was an intimate portrait, and marked Betty’s first television interview in 20 years. The show seemed to have a magical effect on everyone who saw it; from her loyal fans to people who had never ever heard of Betty Hutton before. Until the time of her death in 2007, whenever Turner reran Betty’s Private Screenings episode, fan mail poured in from around the country with notes of love and respect for the “Blonde Bombshell”. Betty continued to live in quiet retirement in Palm Springs, California until her death on March 11, 2007 at the age of 86.
Betty Hutton is shown here in an MGM studio photo for Annie Get Your Gun, 1950. She was 29 years old.
Betty shows off the newly released video tape of her movie, "Annie Get Your Gun" - April 4, 2001 at home in Palm Springs.
The lovelyBetty we all remember!
Betty's Triumphant Return to Michigan in "Let's Dance"
One of the most interesting periods durings Betty's Hollywood days has to be her return to Michigan in 1950 for the opening of her film, "Let's Dance", with Fred Astaire. Why so interesting? Well, since Betty grew up in poverty in several cities within Michigan during the depression, her recollections of the place were not real good. At one point, with two small children in tow, Betty's mother, a bootlegger, was chased out of Lansing with the police hot on her trail. Now, in 1950, Betty and her mother were arriving in Lansing as local heroes and celebrities! Kind of a Cinderella story... don't you think? For the full story, you will want to read Chapter 13 in Betty's autobiography, "Backstage, You Can Have".
A special thank you to Ben Carbonetto of New York City, Betty's life-long friend, who generously provided us with these photos.
Amazing! Photos from Betty's career just don't get much better than this... We believe this is Detroit, first stop on the Michigan tour.
Betty is shown here in front of the theater in Lansing, Michigan where "Let's Dance" had its world premiere!
Pure Hutton glamour!
Warming up the audience... Betty and her mother, Mabel, on-stage in Lansing prior to the very first public screening of, "Let's Dance".
Betty saying hello to her Foch Intermediate school, (Detroit) math teacher, Mrs. Deborah Jones (Nov. 24, 1950).
Watch our Betty Hutton tribute video!
Take a look at one woman's nod to Betty Hutton in her current NYC tribute in song!
This video clip (click here) simply can't be missed! We watched it and to be perfectly honest, we're, well, speechless! It just goes to show you, New York City has it all; everything from soup to nuts... Drop us a line and let us know what you think.
Here's a really special treat!
But probably not as much fun as the above video...
Watch this 7 minute video segment from an interview done by Hollywood columnist Mike Connolly in Betty's Los Angeles home in 1955. The complete video is 27 minutes in length.
His Rocking Horse is solid gold!
Betty's song His Rocking Horse Ran Away was so successful, musical team Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen had a special jewelry pin created and presented it to Betty in appreciation. It is a rocking horse. From it a chain leads to a little boy who appears to be flying off of his horse. Both rocking horse and boy are pinned separately from each other to appear as if the boy is in flight after having been thrown from the horse. The pin is solid gold and both the horse and boy have diamond eyes.
Visit our on-line store
Click (here) or on the link at the top of this page. Both will take you to our on-line store, sponsored by PayPal. There you will find one-of-a-kind Betty Hutton items for sale. You can use your PayPal account or a credit card at checkout. Simply add items to your cart and checkout when you are done! Just follow the on-line instructions as you checkout. Thank you...
Where it all began...
The house Betty Hutton was born in, No.12 Stone Avenue Battle Creek, MI
Foch Intermediate School in Detroit, Michigan where Betty went to school.
Betty makes a visit back to school after becoming famous.
Betty in New York City, around 1939. (Vincent Lopez era)
Where Betty's meteoric rise to fame all began... Paramount!
Carl Bruno, Executor of the Betty Hutton Estate, and A.C. Lyles of Paramount take a walk on the studio lot after enjoying lunch at the commissary.
People lined up and waiting to be discovered at Paramount's main gate in the good old days of Hollywood's studio system.
OFFICIAL Betty Hutton
Commemorative Poster -
created by her estate after her death in 2007
For your very own copy of this 12 x 15 poster, please visit our On-line Store by clicking (here) or the "store" link at the top of this page!
Video Clip of Memorial Service...
held for Betty Hutton at St. Theresa church in Palm Springs on March 23, 2007. A.C. Lyles, long-time Hutton friend and Paramount Studio exec. gave the eulogy. This video clip is small and of less than desirable quality, but it is all here!
This is the last photo ever taken of Betty Hutton, January 2007.
Flowers adorned Betty's Hollywood star hours after her death was officially announced by her estate.
Betty's star, as it appears today on Hollywood Blvd. in LA.
Headstone at Betty's gravesite, adorned with "pennies from heaven" left by adoring fans - Cathedral City, California
Greatest Show On Earth
View this amature video footage taken during the Greatest Show On Earth circus parade in Sarasota, Florida in 1952. Shots of Betty on a float are toward the end. The parade was filmed and used in the movie, The Greatest Show On Earth.
BETTY AT WAR!
We have had wonderful response from viewers to Betty's WW2 photos! Remember to check out our Betty At War gallery (here).
At Home In Palm Springs
Betty at home in Palm Springs (early 2002) with Estate Executor, Carl Bruno (middle photo) and Michael Mayer.
Watch this video clip...
Betty Images Of The Month
Off-screen photo of Betty Hutton during the filming of The Perils of Pauline.
Betty Hutton on set in one of her many costumes from The Perils of Pauline.
Betty Hutton off camera with mentor, Buddy DeSylva, and actor Billy DeWolfe during the shooting of The Perils of Pauline.