Biography

Elizabeth Ruth Grable was born on December 18, 1916 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother Lillian was a stubborn and materialistic woman who was determined to make her daughter a star. Elizabeth, who later became Betty, was enrolled in Clark's Dancing School at the age of three. With her mother's guidance, Betty studied ballet and tap dancing. At age 13, Betty and her mother set out for Hollywood with the hopes of stardom. Lillian lied about her daughter's age, and Ruth landed several minor parts in films in 1930, such as Whoopee! (1930), New Movietone Follies of 1930 (1930), Happy Days (1929) and Let's Go Places (1930). In 1932, she signed with RKO Radio Pictures. The bit parts continued for the next three years. Betty finally landed a substantial part in By Your Leave (1934). One of her big roles was in College Swing (1938). Unfortunately, the public did not seem to take notice. She was beginning to think she was a failure. The next year, she married former child star Jackie Coogan. His success boosted hers, but they divorced in 1940. When she landed the role of Glenda Crawford in Down Argentine Way (1940), the public finally took notice of this shining bright star. Stardom came through comedies such as Coney Island (1943) and Sweet Rosie O'Grady (1943). The public was enchanted with Betty. Her famous pin-up pose during World War II adorned barracks all around the world. With that pin-up and as the star of lavish musicals, Betty became the highest-paid star in Hollywood. After the war, her star continued to rise. In 1947, the United States Treasury Department noted that she was the highest paid star in America, earning about $300,000 a year - a phenomenal sum even by today's standards. Later, 20th Century-Fox, who had her under contract, insured her legs with Lloyds of London for a million dollars. Betty continued to be popular until the mid-1950s, when musicals went into a decline. Her last film was How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955). She then concentrated on Broadway and nightclubs. In 1965, she divorced band leader Harry James, whom she had wed in 1943. Betty Grable died at age 56 of lung cancer on July 2, 1973 in Santa Monica, California. Her life was an active one, devoid of the scandals that plagued many stars in one way or another. In reality, she cared for her family and the family life more than stardom. In that way, she was a true star.

Date of Death 2 July 1973, Santa Monica, California  (lung cancer)   Interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California

Elizabeth Ruth Grable was born on December 18, 1916 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother Lillian was a stubborn and materialistic woman who was determined to make her daughter a star. Elizabeth, who later became Betty, was enrolled in Clark's Dancing School at the age of three. With her mother's guidance, Betty studied ballet and tap dancing. At age 13, Betty and her mother set out for Hollywood with the hopes of stardom. Lillian lied about her daughter's age, and Ruth landed several minor parts in films in 1930, such as Whoopee! (1930), New Movietone Follies of 1930 (1930), Happy Days (1929) and Let's Go Places (1930). In 1932, she signed with RKO Radio Pictures. The bit parts continued for the next three years. Betty finally landed a substantial part in By Your Leave (1934). One of her big roles was in College Swing (1938). Unfortunately, the public did not seem to take notice. She was beginning to think she was a failure. The next year, she married former child star Jackie Coogan. His success boosted hers, but they divorced in 1940. When she landed the role of Glenda Crawford in Down Argentine Way (1940), the public finally took notice of this shining bright star. Stardom came through comedies such as Coney Island (1943) and Sweet Rosie O'Grady (1943). The public was enchanted with Betty. Her famous pin-up pose during World War II adorned barracks all around the world. With that pin-up and as the star of lavish musicals, Betty became the highest-paid star in Hollywood. After the war, her star continued to rise. In 1947, the United States Treasury Department noted that she was the highest paid star in America, earning about $300,000 a year - a phenomenal sum even by today's standards. Later, 20th Century-Fox, who had her under contract, insured her legs with Lloyds of London for a million dollars. Betty continued to be popular until the mid-1950s, when musicals went into a decline. Her last film was How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955). She then concentrated on Broadway and nightclubs. In 1965, she divorced band leader Harry James, whom she had wed in 1943. Betty Grable died at age 56 of lung cancer on July 2, 1973 in Santa Monica, California. Her life was an active one, devoid of the scandals that plagued many stars in one way or another. In reality, she cared for her family and the family life more than stardom. In that way, she was a true star.

Date of Death 2 July 1973, Santa Monica, California  (lung cancer)   Interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 82

Birthday 1916-12-18

Day of Death 1973-07-02

Place of Birth St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Elizabeth Ruth Grable
  • Frances Dean

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2017 This Is Bob Hope... as Herself (archive footage)
1967 The Carol Burnett Show (1 episode)
1965 Hollywood My Home Town
1964 The Hollywood Palace (1 episode)
1963 Marilyn
1957 The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour (1 episode)
1956 The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (4 episodes)
1955 Star Stage (34 episodes) as Cleopatra Collins
1955 How To Be Very, Very Popular as Stormy Tornado
1955 Three for the Show as Julie Lowndes
1953 How to Marry a Millionaire as Loco Dempsey
1953 The Farmer Takes a Wife as Molly Larkins
1953 The Academy Awards (1 episode)
1951 Meet Me After the Show as Delilah Lee
1951 Call Me Mister as Kay Hudson
1950 My Blue Heaven as Kitty Moran
1950 The Costume Designer
1950 Wabash Avenue as Ruby Summers
1949 The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend as Freddie
1948 When My Baby Smiles At Me as Bonny Kane
1948 That Lady in Ermine as Francesca / Angelina
1948 The Ed Sullivan Show (2 episodes)
1947 Mother Wore Tights as Mother
1947 The Shocking Miss Pilgrim as Cynthia Pilgrim
1946 Do You Love Me as Barry's Fan in Taxi (uncredited)
1945 The Dolly Sisters as Yansci 'Jenny' Dolly
1945 The All-Star Bond Rally
1945 Diamond Horseshoe as Bonnie Collins
1944 Take It or Leave It as Herself
1944 Pin Up Girl as Lorry Jones
1944 Four Jills in a Jeep as Betty Grable
1944 Wing and a Prayer as (archive footage)
1943 Sweet Rosie O'Grady as Madeleine Marlowe/Rosie O'Grady
1943 Coney Island as Kate Farley
1942 Springtime in the Rockies as Vicky Lane
1942 Footlight Serenade as Pat Lambert
1942 Song of the Islands as Eileen O'Brien
1941 Hedda Hopper's Hollywood No. 2
1941 I Wake Up Screaming as Jill Lynn
1941 A Yank in the R.A.F. as Carol Brown
1941 Moon Over Miami as Kathryn 'Kay' Latimer, also called Miss Adams
1940 Tin Pan Alley as Lily Blane
1940 Down Argentine Way as Glenda Crawford
1939 The Day the Bookies Wept as Ina Firpo
1939 Million Dollar Legs as Carol Parker
1939 Man About Town as Susan Hayes
1938 Campus Confessions as Joyce Gilmore
1938 Give Me a Sailor as Nancy Larkin
1938 College Swing as Betty
1937 Thrill of a Lifetime as Gwen
1937 This Way Please as Jane Morrow
1936 Pigskin Parade as Laura Watson
1936 Don't Turn 'em Loose as Mildred Webster
1936 Follow the Fleet as Singer in Trio
1936 Collegiate as Dorothy
1935 A Quiet Fourth
1935 Old Man Rhythm as Sylvia
1935 A Night at the Biltmore Bowl as Vocalist
1935 The Nitwits as Mary Roberts
1934 By Your Leave as Frances
1934 The Gay Divorcee as Dance Specialty
1934 Student Tour as Cayenne
1934 Susie's Affairs as Susie Lee
1934 Love Detectives as Alice
1934 Elmer Steps Out
1934 School for Romance as Student
1933 The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi
1933 What Price Innocence? as Beverly Bennett
1933 Melody Cruise
1933 Child of Manhattan as Lucy McGonagle
1933 Cavalcade as Girl on Couch
1932 The Kid from Spain as Goldwyn Girl (uncredited)
1932 Over the Counter as Customer Who Wants to Buy a Baby (uncredited)
1932 Hold 'Em Jail as Barbara Jones
1932 The Age of Consent as Student at Dormitory (uncredited)
1932 Probation as Ruth Jarrett
1932 The Greeks Had a Word for Them as Hat Check Girl (uncredited)
1931 Palmy Days as Goldwyn Girl (uncredited)
1931 Kiki as Goldwyn Girl (uncredited)
1930 Whoopee! as Goldwyn Girl (uncredited)
1930 New Movietone Follies of 1930
1929 Happy Days as Chorus Woman

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