US actress Betty Garret dies aged 91

Betty Garrett, the Broadway star best known for playing Frank Sinatra’s sweetheart in two MGM musicals in the 1940s, died aged 91 from what is believed to have been an aortic aneurysm.

The vivacious singer, dancer and actor’s most memorable role was in the musical On the Town as the flirtatious taxi driver Hilde Esterhazy who chases after a shy sailor played by Sinatra with the song Come Up to My Place.  She ignores his suggestions about what to see in New York and insists: “My Place!”

Before her career as a movie star had a chance to take off, however, she was blacklisted due to her and her husband Larry Parks’ past ties with the Communist Party. “With all of it I tried to keep smiling,” the upbeat actress said in 2004. “I always say if one loses ones sense of humor it’s the end of everything and one might as well turn out the light.”

Garrett later became well known for her roles in the 1970s sitcoms All in the Family and Laverne and Shirley, and in 2003 she received an Emmy nomination for guest actress in a comedy series for an appearance on the Ted Danson sitcom Becker

Other greats who have recently passed away include Last Tango in Paris actress Maria Schneider, producer Bernd Eichinger, actress Susannah York, fitness guru Jack Lalanne and music legend Captain Beefheart.

Images: Wikimedia Commons and grigwaretalkstheater.com