Betty Hutton Betty Hutton, (born Elizabeth June Thornburg on February 26, 1921 in Battle Creek, Michigan) is a former American actress and singer.
Raised by a single mother, Hutton (along with her sister, Marion Hutton) started singing in the family's speakeasy at age 3. Related troubles with the police kept the family on the move; eventually they moved to Detroit. When interviewed much later, as an established star, she commented on a recent Detroit homecoming parade in her honor, "This time the police were in front of us." As a teenager, she sang in several local bands, and at one point visited New York City hoping to perform on Broadway, where she was rejected.
A few years later, she was scouted by orchestra leader Vincent Lopez, who gave Hutton her entry into entertainment. In 1939 she appeared in several musical shorts for Warner Bros., and appeared on Broadway in Panama Hattie and Two for the Show, produced by Buddy DeSylva.
When DeSylva became a producer at Paramount Studios, Hutton acquired a starring role in The Fleet's In in 1942. She made 14 films in 11 years during the 1940s and early 1950s, including Annie Get Your Gun, in which she stepped in to replace an exhaustedJudy Garland in the role of Annie Oakley. The film, retooled to fit Hutton, was a smash hit, with the biggest critical praise going to Betty. Like her closest movie musical rival, Garland, Hutton was earning a reputation for being extremely difficult.
In 1942, she signed with Capitol Records, one of the first artists to do so, but was unhappy with their management, and signed with RCA. Her status as a Hollywood star ended during contract disagreements with Paramount.
Hutton worked in radio and toured in nightclubs, then tried her luck on the new fairly new medium of television during the mid-50s. An original musical TV "spectacular," as they were called then, was written and produced for Hutton. The expensive Satin 'n' Spurs was an enormous flop with the public and critics. Desilu took a chance on Betty and gave her a sitcom alternately called "Goldie" or The Betty Hutton Show. It quickly faded. Her last TV outing was a brief guest appearance in the 1970s popular detective show, Barretta.
In 1967, she was signed for starring roles in two low-budget Paramount westerns, but was fired shortly after the projects began. Afterwards, Hutton had trouble with alcohol and substance abuse, eventually attempting suicide, and had a nervous breakdown. However, after regaining control of her life with a church, she converted to Roman Catholicism and went on to teach acting and do kitchen chores at the rectory.
Her last performance in any medium was on Broadway where she played evil Miss Hannigan in the musical Annie; actress Dorothy Loudon originated that role and Agnes Ghostley also played it on Broadway.
Married four times with three children, Betty Hutton (as of 2005) currently resides in Palm Springs, California.