Betty Jaynes (actress)
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Betty Jaynes Actress
Betty Jaynes
Betty Jayne Schultz

(1921-02-12)February 12, 1921
DiedNovember 22, 2018(2018-11-22) (aged 97)
Alma materStarrett School for Girls
OccupationSinger, actress
(m. 1938; div. 1941)

Bill Roberts
(m. 1943)

Betty Jaynes (born Betty Jayne Schultz,[1] February 12, 1921 - November 22, 2018) was an American operatic singer and B-movie actress from the late 1930s to mid-1940s.

Early years

The daughter of Louis C. Schultz and Stella Schultz,[2] Jaynes was born in Greeneville, Tennessee, but she attended the Starrett School for Girls[3] in Chicago. She has a brother, Robert, and two sisters, Lorraine and Marion.[4]


Jaynes made her concert debut when she was 15, performing with pianist Janet Gunn at Orchestra Hall in Chicago.[5] At the same age, she made a "sensational debut" with the Chicago City Opera Company in La boheme. In a Life magazine article, she said she would "quit school and consider movies."[6] Her radio debut also occurred when she was 15, as she sang on The Ford Sunday Evening Hour on CBS in January 1937.[7]

On December 9, 1936, Probate Judge John F. O'Connell in Chicago approved Jaynes' contracts with MGM and a concert booking company. Her status as a minor required court approval, with her mother as her guardian. The MGM contract guaranteed $250 to $1,300 per week plus additional payment when she made films. The booking contract guaranteed $1,000 per concert.[8]

She began working in Hollywood on April 1, 1937.[9] She appeared as Molly Moran in Babes in Arms in 1939, then in a series of minor parts in seven MGM movies through 1944 including Meet the People, starring Lucille Ball. Her last major acting role was in 1952, in an I Love Lucy episode, "The Operetta".

Personal life

Jaynes married actor and budding baritone Douglas McPhail in June 1938. They had a daughter, and were divorced in 1941; McPhail committed suicide in 1944.[10] She married a second time in 1943, to Bill Roberts, who had been a singer for Tommy Dorsey[11] and then twice more in 1950 and 1973. She died in Santa Monica, California in November 2018 at the age of 97.[12]


  1. ^ Hadden, Briton (10 February 2018). "Time". Time Incorporated – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "High School Sophomore Under Opera Contract". The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, the Evening News. Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre. Associated Press. September 25, 1936. p. 20. Retrieved 2018 – via access
  3. ^ "15-Year-Old Girl Becomes Member Of Chicago Opera". The Journal Times. Wisconsin, Racine. International News Service. September 25, 1936. p. 1. Retrieved 2018 – via access
  4. ^ Shaffer, Rosalind (May 16, 1937). "Betty Jaynes Studying for Movie Debut". Chicago Tribune. Illinois, Chicago. p. Part 7-Page 6. Retrieved 2018 – via access
  5. ^ Smith, Cecil M. (January 24, 1937). "Betty Jaynes' Concert Debut on Wednesday". Chicago Tribune. Illinois, Chicago. p. Part 7-Page 3. Retrieved 2018 – via access
  6. ^ "Their Music Makes News", Life (Time Inc.), December 21, 1936
  7. ^ "Radio Presents Stars in New Programs". The Indianapolis Star. Indiana, Indianapolis. January 10, 1937. p. 24. Retrieved 2018 – via access
  8. ^ "Opera's Child Star Will Get $50,000 a Year". Chicago Tribune. Illinois, Chicago. December 10, 1936. p. 17. Retrieved 2018 – via access
  9. ^ Sheilagh Graham, Hollywood Today, February 6, 1937
  10. ^ David K. Frasier (2005). Suicide in the Entertainment Industry: An Encyclopedia of 840 Twentieth Century Cases. McFarland. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-4766-0807-5.
  11. ^ "Betty Jaynes, Actress, Weds a Serviceman", Associated Press in The Milwaukee Journal, March 26, 1943.
  12. ^ Ancestry: Betty Jane Schultz profile (subscription required)

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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