Friday, March 16, 2007
and the answer is ...
yes, it is betty hutton.
you may know her best as the movie musical "annie" in "annie get your gun". she got the part after judy garland dropped out.
i don't have the link since i saved the obit to my desktop, but if you want to read the whole thing, it was published 14/3/07 in the movie section of the ny times. here are some snippets:
"Ms. Hutton, a brassy, energetic performer with a voice that could sound like a fire alarm, had the lead role in the 1950 film version of Irving Berlin’s “Annie Get Your Gun” and a starring role in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1952 spectacular, “The Greatest Show on Earth.”"
"Ms. Hutton’s electric presence in films like “The Fleet’s In” and Preston Sturges’s “Miracle of Morgan’s Creek” masked emotional problems rooted in a poverty-stricken childhood. As a young girl, she sang for coins on street corners and in speakeasies to help support her alcoholic mother, who had been abandoned by Ms. Hutton’s father."
[nb i was introduced to the preston sturges film by my mother for whom it is an all-time favourite]
"Ms. Hutton re-emerged in the 1970s, when reporters learned she was working as a cook and housekeeper in the rectory of a Roman Catholic church in Portsmouth, R.I. Before being rescued and rehabilitated by a priest, she said, she had become addicted to sleeping pills and alcohol and had lost what she estimated to be a $10 million fortune."
[this is the bit that i like the best:]
"In the early 1980s, Ms. Hutton, who had never gone beyond the ninth grade, enrolled at Salve Regina, a Catholic college for women in Newport, R.I. She earned a master’s degree in psychology; the college had decided that her life experience entitled her to a bachelor’s degree. By the late 1980s, she was teaching comedy and oral interpretation at Emerson College in Boston."