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Betty Hutton: Ball of Fire

Howard Keel and Betty Hutton in Annie Get Your GunEarlier this week, I was saddened to hear about the death of singer-actress Betty Hutton at age 86. What a roller-coaster life she lived. Hutton is one of those odd, semi-forgotten performers that old movie fans rarely have neutral feelings towards. Many find her brassy personality annoying, but personally I love her total lack of inhibition. Especially considering that, during her peak in the ’40s, female singers were expected to come off as ladylike as possible. What impressed me the most about her was her versatility. She completely throws herself into Annie Get Your Gun with contagious energy, for example, but what really surprises are the moments where she conveys a touching vulnerability. For a peek of Betty at her best, enjoy her performance of “Doctor, Laywer, Indian Chief” from the 1945 musical The Stork Club:

4 Thoughts on “Betty Hutton: Ball of Fire

  1. Andrew Dupuy on March 17, 2007 at 11:27 am said:

    Betty Hutton was amazing. She was quirky and original so it’s sortof sad how she faded into obscurity. My two favorite songs by her are “Igloo” and “The Hard Way”. She really was a fun and energetic performer and when she danced it was hard to take your eyes off her.

  2. Definitey, Andrew.

    The YouTube coding isn’t working. I also have to fix this tiny type inside the comment box! (grumble)

  3. Julie Jackson on March 18, 2007 at 1:32 am said:

    Betty was my fave. Here are a few more pix and an mp3 I’ve republished from an old blog entry:
    http://www.snarkymalarkey.com

  4. James Kouroyen on January 14, 2008 at 1:30 pm said:

    Betty Hutton was a wonderful performer and its a shame we no longer have such great and talented people in the current entertainment industry.
    Betty was every inch THE SHOWWOMAN – in the best sense of that term.

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