Produced in Michigan in 1921, Betty Hutton started singing as a kid. She later sang on the road to help bring in funds for her family. In her teens, Hutton started performing in clubs. She soon went to movie, bringing in parts in 1942’s The Fleet’s In and 1944’s The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, among other characters. Hutton starred in among her most renowned movies, Annie Get Your Gun, in 1950. By the 1960s, she’d mostly dropped out of sight. She expired in 2007 in California. In the age of 3, Hutton started singing as ways to bring in extra change from her mom’s customers.
As stated by the Washington Post, Hutton’s family situation grew more fearful within the years: “I quit school when I was 9 years old and beginning singing on street corners because my mom was an alcoholic,” Hutton afterwards described. By age 15, Hutton was working professionally, appearing in a Detroit club. There, she was discovered by bandleader Vincent Lopez. It had been Lopez’s thought for her change her last name to Hutton.
After performing with Lopez to get a time, Hutton went out by herself. After that year, she appeared with Ethel Merman in Panama Hattie. Shortly, she went to picture, brought out to Hollywood by a Paramount executive. Hutton brought an explosive energy to her film characters, beginning with 1942’s The Fleet’s In with Dorothy Lamour and William Holden.
More starring movie roles soon followed. She subsequently brought the life of silent movie star Pearl White to the big screen in 1947’s The Perils of Pauline. In 1950, the performer handled possibly her most well-known character in the hit musical Annie Get Your Gun, about notable sharpshooter and western star Annie Oakley. These films proved to be two of Hutton’s closing big screen attempts.
Hutton walked out on her picture contract following a dispute with all the studio. She needed her second husband, Charles O’Curran, to be her manager, as well as the studio refused. After her split from Paramount, Hutton just made one more picture: the 1957 low budget drama Spring Reunion. A couple of years after, she tried her luck with television, starring on The Betty Hutton Show. The program lasted just one season.
As her career faded, Hutton fell victim to her private demons and fiscal woes. She abused sleeping pills along with other drugs for a long time. In 1967, she declared insolvency, having spent the $9 million to $10 million that she’d brought in during her heyday. Several years after, she had a mental breakdown, afterwards spending time in a treatment facility. Together with assistance from Father Peter Maguire, Hutton was able to turn her life around. Also around now, she became a drama teacher at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.
After Maguire’s passing in 1996, Hutton moved to Palm Springs, California, hoping to make up along with her three daughters who lived in the state. Wed four times, Hutton had two kids, Sweets and Lindsay, with her first husband, Ted Briskin. “My husbands all fell in love with Betty Hutton,” the famed blonde bombshell once said, in accordance with The New York Times. “None of them fell in love with me.”
Hutton died of complications from colon cancer on March 11, 2007, in the age of 86, in her Palm Springs house. There was a modest, private service to mark her passing, which her daughters failed to attend. Despite her attempts, Hutton hadn’t had the opportunity to mend the rift between her and her kids.
Whatever she experienced in her private life, there isn’t any question that Betty Hutton made an indelible mark on the world of movie. “The thing about Betty Hutton was she could sing a tune and break your heart, and she was an excellent performer,” Robert Osborne, TV host and movie historian, told the La Times. “Behind the zaniness there was an extremely sweet, exposed man.”