Betty Field

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Not to be confused with the British actress, Betty Fields
Betty Field
Betty Field in Bus Stop trailer cropped.jpg
Actress Betty Field (1956) from the trailer for the film Bus Stop
Born (1913-02-08)February 8, 1913
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died September 13, 1973(1973-09-13) (aged 60)
Hyannis, Massachusetts, U.S.
Cause of death Cerebral hemorrhage
Occupation Actress
Years active 1939–68
Spouse(s) Elmer Rice (1942–56)
Edwin J. Lukas (1957–67)
Raymond Olivere (1968–73)

Betty Field (1913 or 1918 – September 13, 1973) was an American film and stage actress.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, to George and Katharine (née Lynch)[1] Field, Betty began her acting career on the London stage in Howard Lindsay's farce, She Loves Me Not. Following its run she returned to the United States and appeared in several stage successes, before making her film debut in 1939. Her role as Mae, the sole female character, in Of Mice and Men (1939) established her as a dramatic actress. She starred opposite John Wayne in the 1941 film The Shepherd of the Hills. Field played supporting roles in Kings Row (1942). A life member of The Actors Studio,[2] Field preferred performing on Broadway and appeared in Elmer Rice's Dream Girl and Jean Anouilh's The Waltz of the Toreadors, but returned to Hollywood regularly, appearing in Flesh and Fantasy (1943), The Southerner (1945), The Great Gatsby (1949), Picnic (1955), Bus Stop (1956), Peyton Place (1957), BUtterfield 8 (1960) and Birdman of Alcatraz (1962). Her final film role was in Coogan's Bluff in 1968. She also appeared on television.

Personal life[edit]

Her first marriage, to playwright Elmer Rice, ended in divorce. The couple had three children, John, Paul and Judith. John became a lawyer, but he died in a swimming accident at age 40. Her second marriage, to Edwin J. Lukas, lasted from 1957–1967. Her third marriage, to Raymond Olivere, lasted from 1968 until her death in 1973.[citation needed]


Field died from a stroke in Hyannis, Massachusetts, aged 60.


Year Film Role
1939 What a Life Barbara Pearson
Of Mice and Men Mae
1940 Seventeen Lola Pratt
Victory Alma
1941 The Shepherd of the Hills Sammy Lane
Blues in the Night Kay Grant
1942 Kings Row Cassandra Tower
Are Husbands Necessary? Mary Elizabeth Cugat
1943 Flesh and Fantasy Henrietta
1944 The Great Moment Elizabeth Morton
Tomorrow, the World! Leona Richards
1945 The Southerner Nona Tucker
1949 The Great Gatsby Daisy Buchanan
1955 Picnic Flo Owens
1956 Bus Stop Grace
1957 Peyton Place Nellie Cross
1959 Hound-Dog Man Cora McKinney
1960 BUtterfield 8 Fanny Thurber
1962 Birdman of Alcatraz Stella Johnson
1966 7 Women Florrie Pether
1968 How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life Thelma
Coogan's Bluff Ellen Ringerman


  1. ^ GREAT STARS OF THE AMERICAN STAGE by Daniel Blum c.1952 Profile #130
  2. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 280. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. 

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