Betty Grable had a relatively short life. She succumbed from lung cancer at age 56. But during her short life she had a prolific film star career. By the time she was 23 years old she had already played in about 20 films including the Academy Award-nominated film, "The Gay Divorcee" in 1934.
During the 1940's decade she was the top star of Twentieth Century Fox. During a thirteen year period, covering the 1950s, she played in about 25 musicals and comedies. Her last big hit with Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe was "How to Marry a Millionaire" in 1953.
Some of her famous 1940s films were "Down Argentine Way" in 1941, "Moon over Miami" in 1941, "Spring Time in the Rockies" in 1942, "Coney Island" in 1943, "Sweet Rosie O'Grady" in 1942, "Pin Up Girl" in 1944, "Diamond Horse Shoe" in 1945 and "Mother Wore Tights" in 1947.
During the World War II years Grable was the number one pinup girl for American soldiers. Her competitors were Dorothy Lamour, Rita Hayworth and Lana Turner.
Grable's top post war musicals were "That Lady in Ermine" in 1948, "When My Baby Smiles at Me" in 1948 and "Wabash Avenue" in 1950.
Grable got into acting through her mother's insistence that one of her daughters become a film star. Her first movie role was in "Happy Days" in 1929, when she was only 13 years old. The fact that Grable made it as a film star says something about her mother's determination. But one must suspect that Grable's talents had more to do with her success than her mother's determination.
Betty Grable was born on December 18, 1916. Her father, John C. Grable, was the son of German and Dutch immigrants. Her mother, Lillian Hoffman, was of Dutch, Irish and English descent.
Grable married the famous former child actor, Jackie Coogan in 1937. But the marriage did not last long. It ended in divorce three years later in 1940. In 1943 Grable married jazz trumpeter and band leader Harry James. They had two children together. Her second marriage lasted 23 years. The couple divorced in 1965.
As stated before, Betty Grable's life was short. On July 2, 1973, at age 56, she died of lung cancer. She was interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California. During her entire acting career she had acted in 84 movies, stage plays or television presentations.
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Internet Movie Database