Betty Garrett, who graced the Broadway stage in numerous productions and also played Frank Sinatra‘s love interest twice on screen, passed away in Los Angeles, her son Garrett Parks said Sunday (Feb. 13). She was 91 years old and the mostly likely cause of death was an aortic aneurysm, says Parks.
Garrett’s two most famous movie roles were in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “On the Town,” both in 1949, where she played a girl in love with Frank Sinatra, though she is pictured above in “My Sister Eileen” alongside Jack Lemmon. Her movie career was cut short largely due to her husband, Larry Parks, having to testify in front of HUAAC about his brief membership in the communist party. It blacklisted them both.
Betty went on to recur on both “All in the Family” and “Laverne and Shirley” in the 1970s/1980s. Her most recent work included guest-starring roles on “Boston Public,” “Becker” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Her Becker work got her nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy and her role on “All in the Family” won her the Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe in 1975.
She was also part of the original movie that featured “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with Red Skelton, which won the Oscar for Best Song in 1950. In the first version, Ricardo Montalban sings it with Esther Williams in the traditional gender roles in the song. In the second version, Betty is the one doing the convincing with Red Skelton. We’ve included it below.
Betty is survived by her sons Garrett and Andrew, two daughters-in-law and a granddaughter.