Betty Grable was born Elizabeth Ruth Grable on December 18, 1916, in St. Louis, Missouri. She was the youngest of three children (her brother died before Betty was born). By the age of five she was taking tap dancing and saxophone lessons. Betty's ambitious mother was determined to make her a star. They moved Hollywood when Betty was a teenager and she was often forced to lie about her age to get work. She beat out hundreds of other hopefuls to become one of the "Goldwyn Girls" and got small roles in movies like The Gay Divorcee and Pigskin Parade. Betty married former child star Jackie Coogan in November 1937 but they divorced three years later. In 1939 she starred on Broadway in the musical DuBarry Was A Lady. Betty was offered a contract with 20th Century Fox in 1940 and was given the lead in the musical Down Argentine Way. It was a smash and she became one of Hollywood's hottest actresses. More hit films followed including Moon Over Miami, Pin-Up Girl, and The Dolly Sisters. Betty fell in love with bandleader Artie Shaw and was devastated when he eloped with nineteen-year old Lana Turner. To make matters worse Betty discovered she was pregnant and had an abortion. In 1941 she became engaged to actor George Raft but ended the relationship when he could not get a divorce from his wife.
~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2013
"I'm a song and dance girl. I can act enough to get by. But that's the limit of
my talents." ~ Betty