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Garrett, Betty (1919–)

Garrett, Betty (1919–)

American stage and screen actress, singer, and dancer. Born May 23, 1919, in St. Joseph, Missouri; raised in NY; trained at Neighborhood Playhouse; m. Larry Parks (actor), 1944 (died 1975); children: Garrett Parks (composer), Andrew Parks (actor).

Made stage debut in Mercury Theater production of Danton's Death (1938), followed by Let Freedom Ring, Something for the Boys and Beg Borrow or Steal; danced with the Martha Graham Company and sang in nightclubs and at resorts; made film debut in Big City (1948), followed by Words and Music, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Neptune's Daughter, On the Town, My Sister Eileen and The Shadow on the Window; when husband Larry Parks was blacklisted during McCarthy era, her career suffered as well; appeared regularly as Irene Lorenzo on tv's "All in the Family" (1973–75) and Edna Bibish, later Mrs. DeFazio, on "Laverne and Shirley" (1976–81); performed in one-woman autobiographical show No Dogs or Actors Allowed (1989). Won Donaldson award for Call Me Mister (1946).

See also autobiography (with Ron Rapoport) Betty Garrett and Other Songs (1997).

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