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Betty Grable

Best known as a 1940s Pin-Up girl and for her roles in How to Marry a Millionaire, The Gay Divorcee, and The Dolly Sisters.

Betty Grable

Filmography

1929      

Happy Days

 

1930      

Let’s Go Places

New Movietone Follies of 1930

Whoopee!

 

1931      

Kiki

Palmy Days

 

1932      

The Greeks Had a Word for Them

Probation

The Age of Consent

Hold ‘Em Jail

The Kid from Spain

 

 

1933      

Cavalcade

Child of Manhattan

Melody Cruise

What Price Innocence?

The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi

 

1934      

The Gay Divorcee

Student Tour

By Your Leave

 

1935      

The Nitwits

Old Man Rhythm

 

1936      

Collegiate

Follow the Fleet

Don’t Turn ‘Em Loose

Pigskin Parade

 

1937      

This Way Please

Thrill of a Lifetime

 

1938      

College Swing

Give Me a Sailor

Campus Confessions

 

1939      

Man About Town

Million Dollar Legs

The Day the Bookies Wept

 

1940      

Down Argentine Way

Tin Pan Alley

 

1941      

Moon Over Miami

A Yank in the RAF

I Wake Up Screaming

 

1942      

Song of the Islands

Footlight Serenade

Springtime in the Rockies

 

1943      

Coney Island

Sweet Rosie O’Grady

 

1944      

Four Jills in a Jeep

Pin Up Girl

 

1945      

Diamond Horseshoe

The Dolly Sisters

 

1946      

Do You Love Me

 

1947      

The Shocking Miss Pilgrim

Mother Wore Tights

Hollywood Bound

 

1948      

That Lady in Ermine

When My Baby Smiles at Me

 

1949      

The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend

 

1950      

Wabash Avenue

My Blue Heaven

 

1951      

Call Me Mister

Meet Me After the Show

 

1953      

The Farmer Takes a Wife

How to Marry a Millionaire

 

1955      

Three for the Show

How to Be Very, Very Popular

Awards

Betty Grable was never nominated for an Academy Award.

You’re better off betting on a horse than betting on a man. A horse may not be able to hold you tight, but he doesn’t wanna wander from the stable at night. ~ Betty Grable

Elizabeth Ruth Grable was born on December 18, 1916 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was the youngest of three children born to Lillian Rose (née Hofmann; 1889–1964) and John Charles Grable (1883–1954), a stockbroker.

Nicknamed “Betty” as a child, she was pressured by her mother—a stubborn and materialistic woman—to become a performer. She was entered in multiple beauty contests, many of which she won or for which she achieved considerable attention. Despite her success, she suffered from a fear of crowds and sleepwalking.

A 12-year-old Grable and her mother traveled to Hollywood in 1929, shortly after the infamous stock market crash, hoping to achieve stardom. To get her daughter jobs, Lillian Grable lied about her daughter’s age, claiming she was 15 to movie producers and casting agents. The same year, billed as Betty Grable, she made her film debut in Happy Days (1929). This eventually led to her having small roles in Let’s Go Places (1930) and a short Movietone commercial reel for 20th Century-Fox.

In 1930, at age 13, Grable began a partnership with producer Samuel Goldwyn; she thereby became one of the original Goldwyn Girls, along with Lucille Ball, Virginia Bruce, and Paulette Goddard. As a member of the ensemble group of attractive young starlets, Grable appeared in a series of small parts in movies, among them the mega-hit Whoopee! (1930), starring Eddie Cantor. Although she received no on-screen credit for her performance, she led the film’s opening musical number, entitled “Cowboys”. In 1932, she signed a contract with RKO Radio Pictures, and she was assigned to a succession of acting, singing, and dancing classes at the studio’s drama school. Her first film for the studio, Probation (1932), provided the 14-year-old Grable with her first credited screen role. Over the next few years, however, she was again relegated to uncredited minor roles in a series of films, many of them that became worldwide successes, like the 1933 hit Cavalcade. She received larger roles in The Gay Divorcee (1934) and Follow the Fleet (1936), two movie musicals starring the immensely popular movie duo of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Ginger Rogers and Betty Grable in Follow the Fleet (1936)