Betty Furness (Who’s Who at MGM, 1937) 🇺🇸

January 08, 2022

Betty Furness has not only risen to screen fame, but is acknowledged as one of the pace-setters in women’s fashions. She was born in New York City on January 3 and attended such schools as Douglaston, Miss Finch’s private school, Brearley’s and the Bennett College in Willobrook.

Betty made her first stage appearance in the title role in “Alice in Wonderland” as a child in school. She determined to become an actress when her mother introduced her to Luella Gear, star of “Poppy.”

During her vacations from school, Betty modeled for commercial advertising. Her employer, John Powers, brought her to the attention of film officials, who offered her a contract.

Designs Own Clothes

Her roles in pictures include “Renegades of the West,” “Scarlet River,” “Cross Fire,” “Great Jasper,” “Emergency Call,” “Midshipman Jack,” “Aggie Appleby,” “Let’s Fall in Love,” “Beggars in Ermine,” “Life of Vergie Winters,” “Dangerous Corner,” “Gridiron Flash,” “A Wicked Woman,” “The Band Plays On,” “Shadow of Doubt,” “Calm Yourself,” “The Magnificent Obsession,” “Three Wise Guys,” “All American Chump,” “Mama Steps Out” and “The Good Old Soak.”

She designs all of her clothes and makes most of them. Loves to knit and usually knits between scenes of pictures. She has a mania for collecting things, including match boxes, telegrams and pennies.

Betty is the first of her family to enter a theatrical career, her father being an executive and her mother an interior decorator.

She is five feet five inches tall, weighs 103 pounds, has blonde hair and blue eyes. She dislikes all forms of exercise except dancing.

Fashion Consultant

Regarded as the fashion consultant of Hollywood’s younger set, odd moments find the young actress buoy with wardrobe consultations with her various friends. Her individuality in selecting her own wardrobes has set her up as an authority, end she has been responsible for many clever fashion innovations. The latest of these is a sweater and skirt designed fer evening wear.

Betty makes an annual trip back to her native New York, to renew old acquaintances and catch up with the last word in fashion. She usually completes her season wardrobes at this time, and returns to Hollywood with numerous smart new accessories to amaze her many friends.

During her work in pictures, she observes a strict schedule of in bed at nine o’clock, and up at six in the morning. Between pictures she enjoys dancing parties with the younger smart set of the film city.

Wants a Gown Shop

Her secret ambition is to own a gown shop, of which she will be the chief designer, creating models exclusively for her customers. She will never make more than one model of the same dress or hat. Plans are all ready to go into effect at any time, and some day she declares that she will make good her threat and carry out this ambition.

Gardenias are her favorite flowers. She reads the works of Shakespeare when she is in a classical mood, or Louis Bromfield for modern tempo. She particularly admires that exotic Russian ruler, Catherine the Great. She likes the music of Guy Lombardo and the illustrations of Peter Arno. Her favorite color is blue and she likes chocolate cake and milk for a midnight snack.

Betty is a popular leader in the smart younger set.

Source: Who’s Who at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1937