Sunday, February 13, 2011

Betty Garrett : US Actress, Dancer, Singer, Died (Current News)

Betty Garrett (May 23, 1919 – February 12, 2011) was an American actress, comedienne, singer and dancer who originally performed on Broadway before being signed to a film contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. While there, she appeared in several musical films before returning to Broadway and making guest appearances on several television series.

Garrett was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Shortly after her birth, her parents relocated to Seattle, Washington, where her mother, Octavia, managed the sheet music department in Sherman Clay, while her father, Curtis, worked as a traveling salesman.After graduating from public grammar school, Garrett enrolled at the Annie Wright School in Tacoma, which she attended on a full scholarship.

There was no drama department there, and she frequently organized musical productions and plays for special occasions. Following her senior year performance in Twelfth Night, the bishop urged her to pursue a career on the stage.

Betty Garrett, the vivacious Broadway star who played Frank Sinatra's sweetheart in two MGM musicals before her career was hampered by the Hollywood blacklist, has died in Los Angeles, her son said Sunday. She was 91.

Garrett died Saturday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, most likely from an aortic aneurysm, said her son, Garrett Parks. Garrett had been in good health and taught her usual musical comedy class at Theater West, the non-profit organization she helped found, on Wednesday night, but Friday checked into the hospital with heart trouble, and died with her family at her side the following morning.Garrett later moved on to TV, becoming well-known for her roles in the 1970s sitcoms.

Garrett died early Saturday morning, her son, Garrett Parks told The Los Angeles Times.On the small screen, Garrett was a regular on the sitcoms "All in the Family" and "Laverne & Shirley" and on the big screen, she played opposite Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly, among others.

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