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For her next film, her mother tried to get her to sign a contract using false ID, but when this was discovered Grable was fired. Grable finally obtained a role as a 'Goldwyn Girl' in Whoopee!, starring Eddie Cantor, and had played in some 20 films by 1939, including the Academy Award-nominated The Gay Divorcee, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Ruth Elizabeth "Betty" Grable (December 18, 1916 √ July 3, 1973) was an American actress, singer, and pin-up girl whose famous bathing-suit poster was an icon of the World War II era.
Born in Saint Louis, Missouri, she was propelled into acting by her mother, who insisted that one of her daughters become a star. For her first role, as a chorus girl in the film Happy Days (1929), Grable was only 12 years old (legally underage for acting), but because the chorus line performed in blackface, it was impossible to tell how old she was.
In 1937 she married another famous former child-actor, Jackie Coogan, but Coogan was under considerable stress from a lawsuit against his parents over his earnings, and the couple divorced in 1940.
The same year that she divorced Coogan, Grable obtained a contract with 20th Century Fox, becoming their top star throughout the decade, with splashy technicolor films such as Down Argentine Way, Springtime in the Rockies, Moon Over Miami, Coney Island, and Pin Up Girl.
It was during her reign as box-office champ that Grable posed for her famous pin-up photo, which soon became escapist fare among GIs fighting overseas in World War II. It has become one of the most iconic images of the war.
In 1943 she married jazz trumpeter and big band leader Harry James. They divorced in 1965.
Grable's later career was marked by feuds with studio heads, who worked her to exhaustion. At one point, in the middle of a fight with Darryl F. Zanuck, she tore up her contract with him and stormed out of his office. Gradually leaving movies entirely, she made the transition to television and starred in Las Vegas.
Betty Grable died of lung cancer at the age of 56 and was buried in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.
Happy Days (1929)
Let's Go Places (1930)
New Movietone Follies of 1930 (1930)
Crashing Hollywood (1931) (short subject)
Ex-Sweeties (1931) (short subject)
Palmy Days (1931)
The Greeks Had a Word for Them (1932)
Lady, Please (1932) (short subject)
Hollywood Luck (1932) (short subject)
The Flirty Sleepwalker (1932) (short subject)
Hollywood Lights (1932) (short subject)
The Age of Consent (1932)
Hold 'Em Jail (1932)
Over the Counter (1932) (short subject)
The Kid from Spain (1932)
Child of Manhattan (1933)
Melody Cruise (1933)
What Price Innocence? (1933)
Sweetheart of Sigma Chi (1933)
Air Tonic (1933) (short subject)
School for Romance (1934) (short subject)
Hips, Hips, Hooray! (1934)
Love Detectives (1934) (short subject)
Elmer Steps Out (1934) (short subject)
Business is a Pleasure (1934) (short subject)
Susie's Affairs (1934) (short subject)
The Gay Divorcee (1934)
Student Tour (1934)
By Your Leave (1934)
The Spirit of 1976 (1935) (short subject)
The Nitwits (1935)
A Night at the Biltmore Bowl (1935) (short subject)
Drawing Rumors (1935) (short subject)
Old Man Rhythm (1935)
A Quiet Fourth (1935) (short subject)
Follow the Fleet (1936)
Sun-Kissed Stars at Palm Springs (1936) (short subject)
Don't Turn 'em Loose (1936)
Pigskin Parade (1936)
This Way Please (1937)
Thrill of a Lifetime (1937)
College Swing (1938)
Give Me a Sailor (1938)
Campus Confessions (1938)
Man About Town (1939)
Million Dollar Legs (1939)
The Day the Bookies Wept (1939)
Down Argentine Way (1940)
Tin Pan Alley (1940)
Moon Over Miami (1941)
A Yank in the R.A.F. (1941)
I Wake Up Screaming (1941)
Song of the Islands (1942)
Footlight Serenade (1942)
Springtime in the Rockies (1942)
Coney Island (1943)
Sweet Rosie O'Grady (1943)
Four Jills in a Jeep (1944) (Cameo)
Pin Up Girl (1944)
Diamond Horseshoe (1945)
The All-Star Bond Rally (1945) (short subject)
The Dolly Sisters (1945)
Do You Love Me (1946) (Cameo)
The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947)
Mother Wore Tights (1947)
That Lady in Ermine (1948)
When My Baby Smiles at Me (1948)
The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend (1949)
Wabash Avenue (1950)
My Blue Heaven (1950)
Call Me Mister (1951)
Meet Me After the Show (1951)
The Farmer Takes a Wife (1953)
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
Three for the Show (1955)
Screen Snapshots: Hollywood, Shower of Stars (1955) (short subject)
How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955)
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