Betty Furness

Elizabeth Mary Furness, better known as Betty Furness (January 3, 1916–April 2, 1994) was an American actress, consumer advocate and current affairs commentator.

Born in New York, New York, Furness began her professional career as a model before being signed to a film contract by RKO Studios. Her first film role was as the "Thirteenth Woman" in the 1932 film Thirteen Women but her scenes were deleted before the film's release. Over the next few years she appeared in several RKO films, and became a popular actress. Among her film successes were Magnificent Obsession (1935) and the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film Swing Time (1936). By the end of the decade she had appeared in over forty films, but during the 1940s found it difficult to secure acting roles.

In 1948 she was performing in the television series Studio One which was broadcast live. She filled in for an actor to promote Westinghouse products during the advertisement break, and impressed the company with her easy and professional manner. They offered her a contract to promote their products and she subsequently became closely associated with them. In 1953 she appeared in her own television series Meet Betty Furness which was sponsored by Westinghouse and she remained a spokesperson for the company until 1960. She then attempted to move into a less commercialized role in television but found herself too closely associated with advertising to be taken seriously. During this time she worked on radio, and also on behalf of the Democratic Party.

In 1967 President Lyndon Baines Johnson, aware of her work for the Democrats contacted Furness and offered her a position as Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs. She accepted the assignment and continued in this role until the end of the Johnson administration in 1969. During her tenure she silenced her critics by applying herself studiously to her role and learning the issues relating to consumer rights. She headed the Consumer Affairs Departments of both New York City, and New York State from the late 1960s before returning to television.

Signed by WNBC in New York, Furness reported on consumer issues, and specifically targeted examples of consumer fraud. In 1976 she began an association with The Today Show filling in as anchor, and providing regular reports. In 1977 her program Buyline: Betty Furness won the Peabody Award.

In 1990 she was diagnosed with cancer. She continued working for The Today Show until she was released from her contract in 1992. Her dismissal was widely publicised and controversial and was viewed by many of Furness' supporters as ageism.

She had always expressed throughout her life that her philosophy was to never turn down a job, and she stated that it was this attitude that had allowed her to progress through such an unconventional series of professions. During her illness she stated that she wanted nothing more than to be able to work, but her health continued to deteriorate until her death in New York from stomach cancer.

Betty Furness has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution Motion Pictures, and to Television.


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Betty Furness has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution Motion Pictures, and to Television. Jane. During her illness she stated that she wanted nothing more than to be able to work, but her health continued to deteriorate until her death in New York from stomach cancer. Vanella Wings of Mystery (1963) ... She had always expressed throughout her life that her philosophy was to never turn down a job, and she stated that it was this attitude that had allowed her to progress through such an unconventional series of professions. Maria Cooper Malatesta (1964) (TV) ... Her dismissal was widely publicised and controversial and was viewed by many of Furness' supporters as ageism. Pamela Dare "The Newcomers" (1965) TV Series ...

She continued working for The Today Show until she was released from her contract in 1992. Mary Gloucester To Sir, with Love (1967) ... In 1990 she was diagnosed with cancer. aka Circus of Terror Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1967) ... In 1977 her program Buyline: Betty Furness won the Peabody Award. Angela Rivers .. In 1976 she began an association with The Today Show filling in as anchor, and providing regular reports. Geraldine Hardcastle Berserk! (1968) ...

Signed by WNBC in New York, Furness reported on consumer issues, and specifically targeted examples of consumer fraud. Sue Trenton Prudence and the Pill (1968) ... She headed the Consumer Affairs Departments of both New York City, and New York State from the late 1960s before returning to television. Ella Patterson Hammerhead (1968) ... During her tenure she silenced her critics by applying herself studiously to her role and learning the issues relating to consumer rights. Jane Three Into Two Won't Go (1969) ... She accepted the assignment and continued in this role until the end of the Johnson administration in 1969. Two Gentlemen Sharing (1969) ...

In 1967 President Lyndon Baines Johnson, aware of her work for the Democrats contacted Furness and offered her a position as Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs. Polly Bendel. During this time she worked on radio, and also on behalf of the Democratic Party. aka Twinsanity The Executioner (1970) ... She then attempted to move into a less commercialized role in television but found herself too closely associated with advertising to be taken seriously. Jacki .. In 1953 she appeared in her own television series Meet Betty Furness which was sponsored by Westinghouse and she remained a spokesperson for the company until 1960. Foster? Goodbye Gemini (1970) ...

They offered her a contract to promote their products and she subsequently became closely associated with them. aka Sam Hill: Who Killed the Mysterious Mr. She filled in for an actor to promote Westinghouse products during the advertisement break, and impressed the company with her easy and professional manner. Jody Kenyon .. In 1948 she was performing in the television series Studio One which was broadcast live. Foster? (1971) (TV) ... By the end of the decade she had appeared in over forty films, but during the 1940s found it difficult to secure acting roles. Beryl Evans Sam Hill: Who Killed Mr.

Among her film successes were Magnificent Obsession (1935) and the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film Swing Time (1936). aka One of Those Things 10 Rillington Place (1971) ... Over the next few years she appeared in several RKO films, and became a popular actress. Susanne Strauss .. Her first film role was as the "Thirteenth Woman" in the 1932 film Thirteen Women but her scenes were deleted before the film's release. aka Play of the Month: Lady Windermere's Fan (UK) Hændeligt uheld (1971) ... Born in New York, New York, Furness began her professional career as a model before being signed to a film contract by RKO Studios. Lady Windermere ..

Elizabeth Mary Furness, better known as Betty Furness (January 3, 1916–April 2, 1994) was an American actress, consumer advocate and current affairs commentator. aka Honeymoon of Fear Lady Windermere's Fan (1972) (TV) ... aka Dynasty of Fear .. Peggy Heller .. Victoria Brown Fear in the Night (1972) ...

aka Play of the Month: A Room with a View (UK) Doomwatch (1972) ... Lucy Honeychurch .. aka Nightmare Hotel A Room with a View (1973) (TV) ... aka It Happened at Nightmare Inn ..

aka A Candle for the Devil .. Laura Barkley .. aka Play of the Month: The Skin Game (UK) Vela para el diablo, Una (1973) ... aka It's Not the Size That Counts (USA) The Skin Game (1974) (TV) ..

Fairweather .. Dr. aka Thriller: Night Is the Time for Killing (UK: series title) Percy's Progress (1974) ... aka Murder on the Midnight Express (USA) ..

Helen Marlow .. aka Joe Battle Night Is the Time for Killing (1975) (TV) ... Jennifer Thatcher .. Sgt.

Det. Helen "Poldark" (1975) TV Series .... Caroline Penvenen Brannigan (1975) ... aka Mädchen aus dem Weltraum, Die (West Germany) Diagnosis: Murder (1975) ... Tilly Willing "Star Maidens" (1976) TV Series .... Fulvia ..

Sgt. Pamela Carry On England (1976) ... Nikki The Eagle Has Landed (1976) ... Caroline Enys Adventures of a Taxi Driver (1976) ...

aka Dominique Is Dead (USA: reissue title) "Poldark II" (1977) (mini) TV Series ... aka Avenging Spirit .. Marjorie Craven .. Susan Mount Dominique (1978) ...


"Danger UXB" (1979) TV Series ... aka Horrorplanet (USA) "Breakaway" (1980) TV Series .... Becky Royce (Season 2) Towards the Morning (1980). aka Horror Planet (USA) .. Sandy ..

Anthea The Plague Dogs (1982) (voice) .... Pekinese Inseminoid (1981) ... Babs The Price of Life (1987) ...
The Secret Life of Kathy McCormick (1988) (TV) ... aka Nataniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown.

Bridget Bishop .. Margaret 'Maggie' Conway (1993-1999) Young Goodman Brown (1993) ... Pamela Dare "Mad About You" (1992) TV Series ... Lady Doyle To Sir, with Love II (1996) (TV) ...

aka Hubert (Canada: French title) Houdini (1998) (TV) ... Lady Fautblossom .. The Duke (1999) ... Angie's Mother.

aka Countdown to Invasion (International: English title) Everything Put Together (2000) ... aka Alien Fury (USA) .. Alien .. Miss England Alien Fury: Countdown to Invasion (2000) (TV) (voice) ...

Spanish Fly (2003) ...
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