Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Nicknamed "the girl with the million dollar legs,” Betty was famous for her beauty and talent.
Remembering Betty Grable
Of all the stars that Missouri has produced, this pin-up is one of the nicest to look at.
Betty Grable was aptly nicknamed “the girl with the million dollar legs” after Twentieth Century Fox studios insured them for a full million—no small sum in the ’40s.
Born in St. Louis in 1916, Grable received dance training at Clark’s Dancing School in St. Louis. In her early teens, she got her start as a chorus girl in the musical Happy Days. By the 1940s, she was Twentieth Century Fox’s leading lady, featured in films such as Pin Up Girl, Diamond Horseshoe, and Mother Wore Tights.
She was the highest-paid actress in Hollywood in 1947, with the U.S. Treasury reporting that she earned $300,000 per year. She also became a sex symbol in the box office.
“There are two reasons why I am successful in show business,” she once said, “and I am standing on both of them.”
In 1943, Grable posed for her infamous pin-up photo, which catapulted her fame among GI’s in World War II.
One of her last major roles was in the mega-hit How to Marry a Millionaire, in which she was featured alongside her intended replacement, Marilyn Monroe.
Grable, whose career as a star wasn’t peppered with scandals like many from that era, died in 1973. She once said, “The woman’s vision is deep-reaching, the man’s far-reaching. With the man the world is his heart, with the woman the heart is her world.”
She is permanently featured in the Hall of Famous Missourians in the Missouri Capitol and has stars on the St. Louis Walk of Fame and Hollywood Boulevard.