Betty Garrett and Other Songs: A Life on Stage and Screen

Betty Garrett and Other Songs: A Life on Stage and Screen

Betty Garrett, Ron Rapoport

Language: English

Pages: 306

ISBN: 1568330987

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The riveting story of a leading lady whose real life has been as dramatic as those of the characters she portrayed!

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from that period and had written some herself. One of the actresses played the dulcimer, another played the violin, and we had a real country band on stage that allowed us to break into a country dance at one point. The play was built around true individual experiences, and as each actress told her story she came forward with a block from her quilt, held it up, and explained what the pattern symbolized. Mine was a tree of life. By the play’s end, all our blocks were combined in a huge quilt,

though, in the person of an excellent accompanist named Elizabeth Wylie, who was nicknamed “Nudie” because, her mother joked, that is how she was born. Nudie would pound away at that piano and I was able to get all my little ballerinas to dance up a storm. Nudie and I are fast friends to this day. During the summers, most actors in New York tried out for summer stock or the Borscht Circuit. I could never get a job in stock but the Borscht Circuit opened its arms. Many of the hotels and resorts

from that time is climbing on a ladder at Radio City Music Hall and changing the marquee letter by letter from “The Jolson Story with Larry Parks” to “Larry Parks in The Jolson Story.” The effect of The Jolson Story went beyond that of just a movie. It revived Jolson’s career in the last years of his life by giving him a radio show and allowing him to make new records. It even got to the point where young girls started screaming and falling down everywhere he went, the way they did for Larry.

until finally it got to the point where we would sit down to dinner and I could not eat because she was slurring her words. I went to our family doctor, a wonderful woman named Dr. Clara Gross, and said I was not feeling well, but it did not take her long to get me to tell her what the problem really was. “Send your mother in and let me talk to her,” she said, and she talked to her not so much about alcoholism, but about what she was doing with her life. Dr. Gross suggested volunteer work and

would be no operation, but she knew something was wrong and instinctively she realized it had to do with the way we were living. It just was not right for a nine-year-old girl to live in a hotel, keep irregular hours, and be alone so much of the time. So she asked around and discovered a boarding house for little girls across town. I would still go to public school, but during the week I would live in the house where there were other girls for me to play with and my mother would know I was well

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