Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Happy 90th Birthday to Betty Garrett

MedusaMorlock of the TCM Blog has a lovely birthday tribute posted to the wonderful Betty Garrett, who turned 90 years old a few days ago.

Click the title of this post for the story.

As musical fans know, Garrett was a marvelous high-energy presence in a handful of classic MGM musicals of 1948-49, WORDS AND MUSIC, TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME, NEPTUNE'S DAUGHTER, and ON THE TOWN.

She also starred as Ruth in 1955's very entertaining musical remake of MY SISTER EILEEN, along with Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Bob Fosse, and Tommy Rall.

Later in her career Betty appeared as a semi-regular on ALL IN THE FAMILY and LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY. Fans of GREY'S ANATOMY were delighted to see her turn up, along with fellow MGM veteran June Lockhart, in a 2006 episode; the two ladies are pros who stole the show. Betty -- as well as June (who is nearly 84) -- is still acting.

Like Medusa, I was privileged to see Betty's one-woman show in 1976 at the Westwood Playhouse (the program pictured above at the left). I also saw her show, called BETTY GARRETT AND OTHER SONGS, a second time at Cypress College (program pictured at right). At that time I was a young teen who had fallen in love with MGM musicals, and seeing her on stage in her wonderful show was a real thrill.

Medusa links to Part 1 of a five-part archival interview on YouTube. This seems to be along the same lines as the very interesting interview I recently discovered with Marge Champion (who turns 90 this fall!). There seems to be a real treasure trove of these interviews on YouTube; I know there are others with people like Cyd Charisse and Ricardo Montalban which I haven't yet had time to explore.

When doing a little Googling I happened across a post by a friend of Betty's with photos from a recent birthday celebration, as well as a tribute to Betty's life. Betty looks great!

You can read more about Betty in her autobiography, BETTY GARRETT AND OTHER SONGS: A LIFE ON STAGE AND SCREEN which is still available new from Amazon.

1 Comments:

Blogger Jacqueline T Lynch said...

How wonderful to have seen her in person. A real old pro, as you say.

4:40 AM  

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