"Some kind of fun lasts longer than others." - Betty Hutton
Betty Hutton was born Elizabeth June Thornburg on February 26, 1921, in Battle Creek, Michigan. She was the youngest of two daughters. Her father abandoned the family when Betty was two years old. Betty's mother was an alcoholic and the family had little money. When Betty was just thirteen years old she began singing professionally. She moved to New York and appeared in several Broadway plays. She was offered a contract with Paramount. In 1942 she made her film debut in the musical The Fleet's In. It was a hit and Betty became one of Hollywood's most sought-after actresses. Her success continued with starring roles The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, The Perils of Pauline, and Let's Face It.
Betty's sister, Marion Hutton, became a popular big band singer. In 1945 Betty married Ted Briskin. They had two daughters - Candy was born in 1946 and Lindsay was born in 1948. Betty and Ted divorced in 1950. In 1952 she married choreographer Charles O'Curran. That same year Betty played a circus performer in The Greatest Show on Earth. The movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture. She was now earning five thousand dollars a week. Betty wanted her husband to direct her next film. When Paramount refused she walked out on her contract.Betty was labeled a temperamental diva and no other studio would hire her. She divorced Charles and married record executive Alan Livingston in 1955. Their marriage lasted five years. Betty's last film was the 1957 drama Spring Reunion. She made occasional guest appearances on television shows like "What's My Line?" and "The Dinah Shore Chevy Show".
In 1959 she starred in the television series "The Betty Hutton Show". It was canceled after one season. Betty married musician Peter Candoli in 1960. Their daughter, Caroline, was born two years later. Betty found work singing in nightclubs and in Las Vegas. She and Peter divorced in 1967. Betty had a serious addiction to prescription drugs. She suffered a nervous breakdown and attempted suicide. Financial problems forced her to take a job cleaning at a church in Rhode Island. Eventually she was able get off drugs and turn her life around. During the 1970s she earned a bachelors degree from Salve Regina University and starting teaching theater. In 2000 she made a rare telvision appearance on Turner Classic Movie's "Private Screenings". Today Betty is retired and lives in Palm Springs, California. In 2006 she celebrated her eighty-fifth birthday.
The Greatest Show On Earth (1952)