Skip to comments.Betty Garrett, actress in film, TV, Broadway, dies
Posted on 02/13/2011 9:38:09 AM PST by Borges
LOS ANGELES Betty Garrett, the vivacious Broadway star who played Frank Sinatra's sweetheart in two MGM musicals before her career was hampered by the Hollywood blacklist, has died in Los Angeles, her son said Sunday. She was 91.
Garrett died Saturday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, most likely from an aortic aneurysm, said her son, Garrett Parks. Garrett had been in good health and taught her usual musical comedy class at Theater West, the non-profit organization she helped found, on Wednesday night, but Friday checked into the hospital with heart trouble, and died with her family at her side the following morning.
Garrett was best known as the flirtatious girl in love with the shy Sinatra in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and "On the Town," both in 1949, and later in life she became well-known to TV audiences with recurring roles in the 1970s sitcoms "All in the Family" and "Laverne and Shirley."
Her movie career was brief, largely because of the Red Hunt led by congressmen who forced her husband, actor Larry Parks, to testify about his earlier membership in the Communist Party.
Parks had won stardom and an Academy Award nomination as best actor for his dynamic portrayal of singer Al Jolson in the 1946 "The Jolson Story." But in 1951, he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and he admitted that he had joined the Communist Party in 1941 and left in 1944 or 1945.
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I am so sick of whiners like Woody Allen whimpering about the Black Listing. As if they don’t blacklist against conservatives.
Communists are a deadly force in the US. And anyone that sympathizes with them or is a member is a traitor.
What Woody Allen film are you talking about?
What a lovely woman. RIP.
I always liked her as an actress and thought she was very attractive as an older woman. It’s nice she forgave people for her joining the Communist Party.
Anyway; despite Garrett's blacklisting; "91" years, a good run. . .
And yes, there is/was 'blacklisting' and there IS blacklisting now - and it's practice far more subtle and sinister, and w/o transparency; all per the unfortunate habit of Liberal/communist Community.
Oh, I liked her. RIP.
Another Hollywood commie. Pardon me if I don’t cry.
Interesting that the question to anyone blacklisted is never, “do you ever regret joining the communist party?”
Another Norman Lear commie-symp but 91 is a long life and great for her that she was able to work until almost the end.
As PJ O’rorke once said (or something similar) ‘Another left-wing Com-symp off to find out if there is a God or not.’
Wish I could find the quote.
She probably answered the “Are you now and have you ever been a communist?” with the Metzembaum reply: “I can’t believe you’d ask me that!” without answering the question . . . yes or no. I have no sympathy for these Hollyweirdos who evaded this genuine question.
As has been said many times, McCarthy was NOT wrong with his accusations. He was just never given the courtesy of an answer.
People don’t seem to be reading the article. It was her husband who was the communist.
T.S., and a lame excuse. She had a great run, but I guess politically, her mouth ran ahead of her brains.
Onstage, she was a genius. We have a CD of the show "This is the Army!" by Irving Berlin, where there are also cuts from a postwar show by Harold Rome called "Call Me Mister!" She's brilliant in that, especially "Yuletide Park Avenue" and "Take Back Your Samba!" Delightful voice, perfect diction and timing, and hilarious delivery. Get the disk.
It was written by blacklisted Walter Bernstein and directed by the blacklisted Martin Ritt. Bernstein also wrote ‘Fail Safe’ and is still alive.
She was never called to testify.