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Betty Grable

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Betty Grable Biography and Filmography
Betty Grable
Birthday: December 18, 1916
Birth Place: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Height: 5' 4"
Below is a complete filmography (list of movies he's appeared in)
for Betty Grable.
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The celebrated "pin-up girl" of World War II, American actress Betty Grable was the daughter of a stockbroker and an aggressive "stage mother." When her older sister Marjorie balked at a show business career, Grable was taken in hand by her mother and trained to sing, dance, tell jokes and play the ukulele and saxophone. Despite her father's objections, Grable begged her mother to take her to Los Angeles for a movie career, preparing herself with a two-girl musical act while attending Hollywood Professional School. Lying about her age, 13-year-old Grable was hired as a chorus girl for short subjects, getting her first important exposure as the energetic blonde "cowgirl" who sings the first chorus of the first song in the Eddie Cantor film musical Whoopee! (1930). Grable played supporting parts in two-reelers and bits in features for the next couple of years, attaining her first major role in Hold 'Em Jail (1932), a comedy starring the comedy team of Wheeler and Woolsey. Bert Wheeler had promised Grable's mother several years earlier that he'd get the girl a break in pictures if she came to Hollywood, and with this film, Wheeler kept his word. More bits and indifferent supporting roles followed until Grable was signed by Paramount, who loaned her to 20th Century-Fox for Pigskin Parade (1936), which established her with the public. Grable finally landed top billing in Paramount's Million Dollar Legs (1939)—the title referred not to the star but to a college athletic team—which co-starred her first husband, Jackie Coogan. Grable's career stalled at Paramount, but a Broadway appearance in the Cole Porter musical DuBarry Was a Lady led to a contract with 20th Century-Fox, where she remained a number-one box-office attraction from 1940 through 1955. Fox wisely allowed Grable to shed her "college co-ed" image for a more salable screen persona as a wholesomely sexy musical comedy star, emphasizing her greatest attributes: her shapely figure and shapelier legs. After a misfire attempt at heavy dramatics in I Wake Up Screaming (1941), Grable insisted that she be required only to sing and dance, not act, and Fox complied with a string of nonsensical but lavish Technicolor musicals. Grable was enormously popular with American GIs during the war, most of this popularity resting on her famous "pin-up" picture in which, dressed in a one-piece bathing suit and with her back to the camera, Grable glanced saucily over one shoulder. This rear-view image was borne not out of a desire to titillate but from necessity: she was several months pregnant when the picture was taken! Grable furthered her acceptance with the overseas troops when she married trumpeter-bandleader Harry James in 1943. Her popularity undimmed by war's end, Grable continued making Technicolor frolics, though her frequent tiffs with the Fox executives led the studio to try out any number of potential replacements, including Vivian Blaine, June Haver, and even Marilyn Monroe. A few miscalculated breakaways from her accepted screen image—Mother Wore Tights (1947), The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend (1949) and The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1949)—hurt Grable's box-office status, even though these films hold up better than some of her wartime hits. Free-lancing after her last film, the lackluster How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955), Grable inadvertently offended producer Sam Goldwyn, thereby losing out on the chance of playing the plum role of Adelaide in Goldwyn's Guys and Dolls (1955); this and a few disappointing TV appearances prompted the actress into semi-retirement, save for a few nightclub appearances. After divorcing Harry James in 1965, Grable made a triumphal return to Broadway as Carol Channing's replacement in Hello, Dolly. Her later foray into musical comedy, Belle Starr, was less satisfying, closing its London run after two weeks. Shortly before her death, Grable appeared in advertisements for a number of low-calorie food products, her alluring figure and beautiful "gams" belying her age.
All-Star Line-Up (1955)
How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955)
[ Sheree North ]
Three for the Show (1955)
Entertainment on Wheels (1954)
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
[ Marilyn Monroe ][ Lauren Bacall ]
The Farmer Takes a Wife (1953)
Meet Me After the Show (1951)
Call Me Mister (1951)
My Blue Heaven (1950)
Wabash Avenue (1950)
[ Margaret Hamilton ]
The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend (1949)
[ Margaret Hamilton ]
When My Baby Smiles at Me (1948)
That Lady in Ermine (1948)
Mother Wore Tights (1947)
[ Anne Baxter ]
The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947)
Do You Love Me (1946)
Hollywood Park (1946)
The Dolly Sisters (1945)
Diamond Horseshoe (1945)
[ Julie London ]
Pin Up Girl (1944)
Sweet Rosie O'Grady (1943)
Coney Island (1943)
Springtime in the Rockies (1942)
Footlight Serenade (1942)
[ Jane Wyman ][ Sheila Ryan ]
Song of the Islands (1942)
I Wake Up Screaming (1941)
A Yank in the R.A.F. (1941)
Moon Over Miami (1941)
Tin Pan Alley (1940)
Down Argentine Way (1940)
Million Dollar Legs (1939)
Man About Town (1939)
[ Dorothy Lamour ]
The Day the Bookies Wept (1939)
Campus Confessions (1938)
Give Me a Sailor (1938)
[ Leslie Hope ]
College Swing (1938)
[ Leslie Hope ]
Thrill of a Lifetime (1937)
[ Dorothy Lamour ]
This Way Please (1937)
Pigskin Parade (1936)
[ Judy Garland ]
Don't Turn 'em Loose (1936)
Follow the Fleet (1936)
[ Lucille Ball ][ Ginger Rodgers ]
Collegiate (1936)
The Spirit of 1976 (1935)
A Quiet Fourth (1935)
Old Man Rhythm (1935)
[ Lucille Ball ]
Drawing Rumors (1935)
A Night at the Biltmore Bowl (1935)
[ Lucille Ball ]
The Nitwits (1935)
Ferry-Go-Round (1934)
By Your Leave (1934)
[ Margaret Hamilton ]
Student Tour (1934)
The Gay Divorcee (1934)
[ Ginger Rodgers ]
Susie's Affairs (1934)
Business Is a Pleasure (1934)
Love Detectives (1934)
Elmer Steps Out (1934)
Hips, Hips, Hooray! (1934)
School for Romance (1934)
Cavalcade (1933)
Air Tonic (1933)
Sweetheart of Sigma Chi (1933)
What Price Innocence? (1933)
Melody Cruise (1933)
Child of Manhattan (1933)
The Kid from Spain (1932)
[ Jane Wyman ][ Paulette Goddard ][ Foby Wing ]
Over the Counter (1932)
Hold 'Em Jail (1932)
The Age of Consent (1932)
Hollywood Lights (1932)
The Flirty Sleepwalker (1932)
Probation (1932)
Hollywood Luck (1932)
Lady! Please! (1932)
The Greeks Had a Word for Them (1932)
[ Joan Blondell ]
Once a Hero (1931)
Palmy Days (1931)
[ Foby Wing ]
Ex-Sweeties (1931)
Crashing Hollywood (1931)
Kiki (1931)
Whoopee! (1930)
New Movietone Follies of 1930 (1930)
Let's Go Places (1930)
Happy Days (1929)
  • Ex-husband, Harry James died on what would have been their 40th anniversary.
  • Dated Desi Arnaz
  • In the late 1940s, Fox studio insured her legs with Lloyds of London for a quarter million dollars.
  • In 1946-47, the Treasury Department noted that she was the highest paid woman in America, receiving 0,000 a year.
  • Interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California, USA.
  • Was one of the 20 original 'Goldwyn Girls', along with Lucille Ball, Virginia Bruce, Ann Dvorak and Paulette Goddard.
  • Niece of actor Vinton Haworth.
  • Suffered from "demophobia" (fear of crowds)
  • Voted Best Figure of 1941.
  • Wore size 5A shoes. (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
  • Measurments: 34 1/2-24-36 (self-described 1940), 36-24-35 (at tie of her famous WWII pin-up poster), 36-23-35 (at a fit 112# in 1958), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
  • Dated George Raft for two and a half years, and ended the relationship beacause he could not get a divorce from his Catholic wife.
  • Was a somnambulist (sleep-walker)
  • Did Platex 18-hour Shortie commercials in the 1960s using her famous pinup pose -- purportedly because she needed the money after her husband had spent her savings.
  • Singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka's song "Betty Grable" was totally dedicated to her memory
  • Portrayed by Jayne Mansfield in the biopic The George Raft Story (1961). However, at the time she wasn't public domain so the character's name was changed to Lisa.
  • She and Harry James had two daughters, Victoria Elizabeth James (b. March 3, 1944) and Jessica James (b. May 20, 1947).

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