Born 1919 in Saint Joseph, Missouri, American actress, comedian, singer and dancer Betty Garrett originally performed on Broadway, and was then signed to a film contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. She appeared in several musical films, then returned to Broadway and made guest appearances on several television series.
Garrett later became known for the roles she played in two prominent 1970s sitcoms: Archie Bunker’s politically-liberal neighbor Irene Lorenzo in All in the Family and landlady Edna Babish in Laverne & Shirley. In later years, she appeared in television series such as The Golden Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, Boston Public and Becker as well as in several Broadway plays and revivals.
Garrett received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2003. On the occasion of her 90th birthday in 2009, she was honored at a celebration sponsored by Theatre West at the Music Box Theatre in Hollywood. In 2010, Garrett appeared alongside former two-time co-star Esther Williams during Turner Classic Movies’ first annual Classic Film Festival. Their film Neptune’s Daughter was screened at the pool of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California, while a Williams-inspired synchronized swimming troupe, The Aqualilies, performed.
Garrett died of an aortic aneurysm in Los Angeles in 2011 at the age of 91. Take a look at these vintage photos to see portrait of a young Betty Garrett in the 1940s and 1950s.