We’ve just learned that veteran character actress Betty Garrett passed away early this morning at the age of 91. The movie musical legend died at UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, California with her family by her side.
Born in 1919, Garret was encouraged to pursue a career on stage after high school by her bishop. A friend of her mother’s also arranged for an interview with Martha Graham who then in turn recommended Garrett for a scholarship at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City.
During the summer months, she performed in the Borscht Belt where she had the chance to work with legendary talents like Jerome Robbins, Imogene Coca, and Danny Kaye. Garrett made her Broadway debut in 1942 in a revue. Not long after, she was signed to understudy Ethel Merman for a lead role in a Cole Porter musical. She went on to other musicals which led to her being signed to a contract with MGM by Louis B. Meyer. She co-starred in movies like Words and Music, On the Town, Take Me Out To The Ball Game, and Neptune’s Daughter.