"If you just sit around and wait for the phone to ring, you'll get nowhere."
About This Interview
In her two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Actress Betty Garrett (1919-2011) talks about her early years training as an actress and dancer at the Neighborhood Playhouse and with Martha Graham in New York City in the 1930s. She describes her stage debut in 1938 in Orson Welles and John Houseman's Mercury Theatre production of "Danton's Death." She discusses her other stage roles, such as "Something for the Boys" with Ethel Merman and "Laffing Room Only" with Olsen and Johnson. She speaks about her movie career at MGM and the dark days of the Hollywood Blacklist that greatly affected her and her husband, Larry Parks. She talks about her first work in television in the earliest days in Chicago and on such New York shows as All Star Revue and Texaco Command Appearance. She recalls her television work in the 1960s in The Art Carney Specials, The Chevy Show, The Lloyd Bridges Show, and The Fugitive. She describes in great detail, the two television roles for which she is most identified, "Irene Lorenzo" on All in the Family and "Edna Babbish" on Laverne & Shirley. Finally, she talks about later guest appearances on such series as Murder She Wrote, The Golden Girls and Becker. Karen Herman conducted the interview on May 21, 2003 in Studio City, CA.
Video: The 3 minute opening segment shown at Betty Garrett's 90th Birthday Bash on May 31st 2009. The music is from the end credits of the 1983 film "Max Dugan Returns" composed by David Shire. Edited by David Engel.