Actress Betty Garrett Has Died


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.

Actress Betty Garrett has died at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles from an aortic aneurysm, her son said. She was 91.

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.

A week ago she went to dinner with friends and afterward taught a comedy class at Theater West, a nonprofit theater she helped found 50 years ago, the Times said

"She was a woman of boundless optimism," Miles Kreuger, president of the Institute of the American Musical, told the Times. "On the screen and on television there was just a wonderful sense of joy."

Garrett was born on May 23, 1919, in St. Joseph, Mo., and her career got a jump-start after a family friend arranged a meeting with dancer Martha Graham. Graham recommended her for a scholarship at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse.

Soon she was acting on Broadway and in 1947 she moved to California to take roles in such films as "On the Town," "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" and "Neptune's Daughter."

In addition to her son Garrett, she is survived by another son, Andrew, and granddaughter, Madison.