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|Also Known As:||Betty Darling,Betty June Thornburg,Betty Jane Boyar||Died:||March 12, 2007|
|Born:||February 26, 1921||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Battle Creek, Michigan||Profession:||Cast ... actor singer housekeeper cook teacher|
Rambunctious blonde band vocalist (billed as "America's Number One Jitterbug" in the late 1930s) who signed with Paramount in 1941 and went on to become one of the most popular musical comedy box-office stars of the 1940s. Often paired with bumbling comedian Eddie Bracken, the irrepressible, almost manically energetic, Hutton starred in a slew of successful but largely mediocre musicals shaped by her mentor songwriter B.G. 'Buddy' DeSylva, as well as biopics of speakeasy owner Texas Guinan ("Incendiary Blonde" 1945), silent film heroine Pearl White ("The Perils of Pauline" 1947) and singer Blossom Seeley ("Somebody Loves Me" 1952). She is best remembered for her superb comic performance in Preston Sturges' "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" (1944), her suitably rowdy Annie Oakley in the Irving Berlin musical, "Annie Get Your Gun" (1950) and her starring role in as a highwire artist in Cecil B. DeMille's "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952). Hutton's completely unrestrained playing style, decidedly an acquired taste, seemed to suggest at once insecurity, unhappiness and a possibility for temperament. Hutton walked out of her Paramount contract after the studio refused to allow her second husband, choreographer Charles O'Curran, to direct her films; her film career subsequently went into a downward spiral and despite successful vaudeville tours in the 1950s, by the 1960s Hutton had slipped into obscurity. A virtual recluse, making occasional headlines with her marital, physical and emotional problems, she filed for bankruptcy in 1967 (after having made and spent $10 million during her heyday) and was discovered working as a cook and housekeeper at a Rhode Island rectory in the mid-1970s. In 1980 Hutton made a heralded return to the Broadway stage as Miss Hannigan in the hit musical "Annie" and in the mid-1980s became a teacher of film and television at Salve Regina College in Rhode Island, where she had earned her liberal arts degree in 1986.
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