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billbothTwo little pages, so much information! From the archivist’s personal collection comes this fascinating glimpse into the cost of being Betty in the summer of 1962.

Please click the image see the full document!

Some observations…

  • Ashley-Steiner was Betty’s professional agency. She enclosed with this note her paychecks for June appearances on To Tell the Truth and an episode of US Steel Hour entitled “The Scene of the Crime.” She made about $5700 in today’s dollars for the two appearances.
  • Betty had to pay for own transportation to New York for her TV appearances of this era, hence the bill from her agency for a trip to be taken the next day. You can see that the costs likely offset much of her salary.
  • Bullock’s and I. Magnin were California-based department stores. Girlfriend was probably buying clothes!
  • Poor Betty must have lost one of her beloved pets at the beginning of June, resulting in the vet and pet crematory bills.  🙁
  • Essex House was a luxury hotel in New York. Notice the separate checks four days apart. Betty must have flown back to Los Angeles between the two appearances.
  • Lastly, note the June 14th check for a wig for her appearance in a summer stock production of the play Critic’s Choice. It cost about $1600 in today’s dollars – must have been real human hair.  But it was worth it in the end. Her co-star was none other than Allen Ludden, and he was proposing to her by the end of it!