Betty Furness

Betty Furness

  • Highest Rated: 100% Swing Time (1936)
  • Lowest Rated: 86% Flying Down to Rio (1933)
  • Birthday: Jan 3, 1916
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • It's very likely that Betty Furness would be forgotten today if she'd remained a film actress. The daughter of pioneering radio executive George Furness, she landed her first modeling job at 14 and an RKO-Radio film contract two years later. From 1932 through 1935, she appeared in a string of forgettable ingénue roles in Tom Keene Westerns and B-melodramas. She exhibited an unexpected flair for screwball comedy in the 1936 Hal Roach production Mister Cinderella, but wasn't able to capitalize on this career highlight and was out of pictures by 1939 (except for a cameo appearance as herself in 1957's A Face in the Crowd). She fared rather better on Broadway in the 1940s, and better still when she ventured into television in 1949. Though she still occasionally acted in the 1950s (she even starred in a "girl reporter" crime series), her TV fame rested securely on her work as a commercial spokesperson. She was most closely associated with the Westinghouse company, earning hundreds of thousand of dollars pitching kitchenware with the confident catch phrase, "You can be sure if it's Westinghouse." (It should be noted here that one of the most infamous bloopers in TV history, wherein a Westinghouse refrigerator door failed to open during a live commercial, did not happen to Furness as has often been claimed, but to another actress who was subbing for her.) During the Lyndon Johnson administration, Furness was appointed to several important executive positions in the field of Consumer Protection. While working as consumer affairs director at New York's NBC TV affiliate in 1974, she began a long association with The Today Show as consumer reporter/advocate -- a job that was terminated in 1992 when the powers-that-be callously decided that the ever-ebullient Furness "scanned old." Married three times, Betty Furness' first husband was Hollywood composer Johnny Green.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

93% A Face in the Crowd Herself 1957
No Score Yet They Wanted to Marry Sheila Hunter 1937
No Score Yet The President's Mystery Charlotte 1936
100% Swing Time Margaret Watson 1936
No Score Yet Mister Cinderella Patricia Randolph 1936
No Score Yet All American Chump Kitty Crane 1936
No Score Yet Magnificent Obsession Joyce Hudson 1935
No Score Yet Here Comes Cookie Phyllis Allen 1935
No Score Yet Calm Yourself Mary Elizabeth Allenby 1935
No Score Yet Beggars in Ermine Joyce Dawson 1934
No Score Yet Let's Fall in Love Linda 1933
86% Flying Down to Rio Belinha's Friend 1933
No Score Yet Chance at Heaven Betty 1933
No Score Yet Headline Shooter Secretary 1933
No Score Yet Professional Sweetheart Blonde Reporter 1933
No Score Yet Emergency Call Alice Averill 1933
No Score Yet The Great Jasper Sylvia 1933
No Score Yet Aggie Appleby Evangeline 1933
No Score Yet Thirteen Women 13th Woman 1932

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