Thursday, March 2, 2023

THE TRUE SIDE OF BETTY HUTTON

 A few years ago I published an article on my blog about Betty Hutton and her three daughters. Betty has been gone now for over sixteen years, and her three daughters are themselves becoming older women. However, the comments have been overwhelming to what happened to the relationship or lack of relationship Betty had with them. Everyone has an opinion on why the daughters did not go to Betty's funeral, but no one truly knows what went on being the offspring of a troubled Hollywood star but those daughters. 

Here are some of the comments I got via my blog or to my email that I wanted to share:

"I saw the Betty Hutton interview on TCM, when it first aired. Knowing first hand, from one of the countless people who tried to help her, what a delusional, self-centered egotist she could be, seeing her decades later was just more of the same. She never took any responsibility for the grief she had caused herself and others, instead, whining that the cast of ''Annie Get Your Gun'' hated her. That is just one example. There are people who have had horrible role models, but rose above the chaos and misery to become fine human beings. Betty Hutton chose to be a professional victim to the end. There are enough stories told by her peers in Hollywood to more than suggest that she cared for nobody but herself. She may have gotten away with that while she was riding high and making big money, but it caught up with her before long. Her daughter were probably trying to avoid any more heartache at her hands. And, in the end, she got precisely what she deserver." - Phil Lindholm, 10/21/2019

"This was the woman who said in an interview "My children didn't bring me happiness" when her youngest daughter was just 13 years old. Remarks like that can kill the last lingering shreds of affection a child has toward an absent and shaky parent. I just watched the interview with Robert Osborn that replayed on the movie channel last night. Hutton as an old woman was bubbly, pious, unfiltered, but seemingly lacking in self-awareness of her part in her own misfortune and estrangements. Children estranged from a parent always, always have a valid point of view, even when reconciliation is possible. Hutton came across as incapable of recognizing or acknowledging any point of view but her own." -Jaiquai, 3/19/2017


"I was neighbors with Betty in her later years in Palm Springs, and I asked her about her daughters because she did not have pictures around her place. She told me that they were part of her old life. I found that to be odd. They were part of her old life but she had pictures all around her of old stars she worked with like Howard Keel and Bing Crosby. To me it seemed like she blamed everyone else but herself. Talking about Hollywood, she blamed her co-stars. Talking about her ex husbands, she blamed them. I went out to lunch with her a few times, and it was embarrassing how she still thought she was Hollywood royalty. Once Betty realized I wasn't going to crazy over who she was, we sort of stopped talking" - Annoymous. 2/16/2023

In the 1990s, I interviewed actress Marjorie Reynolds's daughter Linda, and she gave me some interesting accounts of Betty Hutton's behavior at Paramount Studios in the 1940s. I'll have to dig those out. Sadly, there is a lot of Hollywood stories out there about stars like Betty. Betty was a great star and talented entertainer, but sadly it did not transfer to her private life.

If anyone is in touch with anyone that knew Betty Hutton, please feel free to reach out to me. I want to hear your stories!



11 comments:

  1. These comments are fascinating! I remember when Betty Hutton was interviewed by Robert Osborne, but I didn't see it. I wonder if it's accessible on TCM's YouTube page -- the comments certainly make me want to check it out now!

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    1. Yes, it's on youtube-I just watched it.

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  3. Unknown commented
    Mar 4, 2023
    I read that Betty wanted the news of her passing delayed so that her funeral was not mobbed by grief stricken fans!? I had to laugh at first, but later I thought how sad. Almost a touch of Norma Desmond in that.

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  4. Betty Hutton had difficulty in interpreting the feelings of others (any adverse events from others were magnified in her mind, where she would talk about it 40 yrs. later). Betty's own facial expressions were magnified at times, as well as her behavior. She had difficulty reading/interpreting facial expression/body cues of others. She was hyper active. It sounds like she was on the spectrum (i.e., autism). Alcoholism also ran in the family.

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    1. U maybe right. They didn’t have it like us and have a name for her behavior.

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  5. I just watched the TCM interview after reading this bog, fully expecting to see a self-absorbed aging diva, yet that is not at all what I got from the video. What I did observe was an honest woman relaying her memories, experiences, insights and feelings.. A very talented and accomplished individual who grew tired of the evolving Hollywood fiasco and found Christ in her heart. She had alot to brag about indeed but I did not see that happening, only reminiscences about her remarkable life and career. As for the comments here putting her down so low and portraying her as a horribly self-absorbed person, well, those people obviously never had to work at a job where they were ostracized by their coworkers, never had to stand alone, never had the misfortune of being accused of something they didn't do (in this case a fallacious rumor of having an affair with producer Buddy Desylva just because he liked her), never had to struggle with the demon of addiction or depression (all jumping on the "bipolar wagon, like, waah, its not my fault I'm a screw up, why are butterflys not landing on MY cup?!?"..Life isnt always sunny and never has been, get over it) and never had challenging or painful family karma. Well lucky for these junior achievers, but they should keep their mouths shut (especially the guy who said she "got what she deserved" when she died alone! What a horribly judgemental and ruthless thing to say!) We don't ever really know all sides to every story.. I think she was fabulously clear on what was important in life, and she had her right to her opinions. If you want to see a true narcissist watch the utube video of David Cavett interviewing Bette Davis when she was in her sixties.. That woman never let the poor man finish a sentence, not even a few words, what an attention-monger! She is still one of my favorite old-time actresses, and she was what she was.. I'm just sayin there is no comparison.. Betty Hutton came across as a very down-to-earth woman, albeit a diva in her own right, not some vicious uncaring witch like many have portrayed her to be.

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    1. Thank you. I agree with what you’ve stated.
      Betty was my grandmother’s niece, ( maiden name Thornburg) which I didn’t know until a few years ago. I loved her movies growing up. It sounds like she had a personality disorder which I believe comes from severe childhood trauma. Depression is a trait in that side of my family. I feel sorry for her and her children.

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    2. Ms. King, I too agree with you. I watched the interview when it was first shown with Robert Osbourne and my feelings are that we are all who we are. None of us really know what her personal life was like, what she and or her children went through. I imagine she did the best that she was capable of doing for herself and for them at the time. Apparently she wasn’t such a terrible mother that her children were taken from her.. She put up with an awful lot in those days from the studios and all of the men in charge in those days and apparently she still has to in her death. How sad. To bad none of her daughters at this age in their life maybe could have gotten some therapy by now, worked through some of their issues and possibly learned to forgive their mother and maybe let the public know she wasn’t as bad as the world has been led to believe, because some point there won’t be anyone left to tell us the honest truth.
      Thank you for listening to my ramblings.

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  6. You never know. I have learned a lot about myself thank you Lord.

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  7. Hutton had a pretty raging Benzedrine habit in the 1940s. I don't know if it persisted into later years. Speaking of her self-absorption, a great percentage of entertainers are what people call narcissistic personality disorder: incapable of empathy, no sympathy for others misfortunes. Believing themselves the Be All End All. Nothing ever their fault, and also delusions of grandeur to a point. Her Benzedrine habit was not limited just to her, a great number of show business people were dependent on it as was available anywhere without a prescription. I think it might have contributed to Fred Allen's fatal heart attack in 1952(?) I think it was.

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