Betty Lou Gerson

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Betty Lou Gerson

Elizabeth Louise "Betty Lou" Gerson (born April 20, 1914 in Chattanooga, Tennessee; died January 12, 1999 in Los Angeles, California) was an actress, best remembered for her work on radio and in animated films.

Gerson grew up in Birmingham and moved to Chicago, Illinois before beginning her career in radio in 1935. She starred as Constance Grimm on the soap opera "Arnold Grimm's Daughter", as Nurse Helen Gowan in Road of Life and as Charlotte Wilson in The Guiding Light. She also portrayed the female romantic lead in the anthology programs The First Nighter, Curtain Time and Grand Hotel.

She married Guiding Light director Joe Ainley and moved with him to Los Angeles. She continued her radio career there in several series including I Love Adventure, Mr President, The Whistler, Crime Classics, Escape, and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. She portrayed Glinda the Good Witch in a 1950 Lux Radio Theater presentation of The Wizard of Oz.

Gerson's first major film role was as the narrator of Walt Disney's Cinderella (1950). Her most-remembered role was that of villainess Cruella De Vil in 101 Dalmations (1961). She appeared on screen in small roles in The Fly (1958), The Miracle on the Hills, and Mary Poppins. On television she played guest roles on Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Rifleman.

Gerson retired in 1966, but did contribute her voice talent to a telephone answering service owned by her second husband, Louis Lauria. In 1997 she returned to motion pictures as the voice of Frances the Fish in Cats Don't Dance. She died two years later after a stroke.


  • "Betty Lou Gerson." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 20 Jul 2009, 23:56 UTC. 20 Jul 2009 [1].

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