Betty Marvin

Betty Marvin

Available here on

Now available as an eBook at:

Barnes & Noble

"Tales Of A Hollywood Housewife" Divine - Canyon News
Posted by Tommy Garrett on Jan 16, 2011

BEVERLY HILLS—When Betty Marvin, the ex-wife of the late film icon Lee Marvin, sent me her book “Tales of Hollywood Housewife,” I was expecting a fun, honest, entertaining read, that personifies Betty Marvin. However, I was stunned by her candor and brilliant writing, which stretched beyond the boundaries of a typical Hollywood wife and it felt more like a book that could be a candidate for a great classic read. Whether you loved Lee Marvin, loved or hated Hollywood or even have any interest in Hollywood stories or not, this is a book for everyone. Her outstanding life, which was filled with emotional and physical highs and lows, chronicles her rise to stardom alongside her talented husband, only to fall into the depths of poverty in a short period of time. Like Tab Hunter’s autobiography, it’s honest, filled with new details on the lives of stars and not tawdry or tasteless with rumors and conjecture about others. This book is as solid as the woman who wrote it, and that’s saying a lot in today’s society and list of authors.

Betty’s only star struck moment I thought was her meeting the grand dame herself, movie star Joan Crawford. But there were no wire hangers thrown in her story. What you find is an intimate set of stories and overall admiration for what Betty would find out on her own to be a tough industry that stars have to navigate, and there are no ways around the land mines and pitfalls of the industry. Eventually Hollywood blows up a part of the star’s mental and emotional well being. You just hope it doesn’t ever destroy your spirit in the process. It surely has not done so to Betty Marvin, who once lived in her car, but pulled herself out of poverty for a second time and made a great life for herself.

Betty Marvin is now surrounded by loving friends, who want nothing but friendship from her, unlike the days when she was Mrs. Lee Marvin, then they wanted to be near her husband. A far cry from the days when she was married to one of Hollywood’s hottest stars, whose baritone voice became as famous as the actor’s name itself. The book delves into the day she met Marvin and fell in love with the man, only to realize in Hollywood, marriage and family have to take a backseat to fame. Never in this book did Betty seem desperate, devastated or down and out. Yes, she had tough times and went from rags to riches to rags again; however, the story is fulfilling to the reader and very inspiring. I’d have to say after reading this incredible book about a woman with tremendous strength, class and dignity, that if Lee Marvin were alive today, I’d bet he’d fall in love with this beautiful lady all over again. After reading Betty’s book, I did.

This biography talks in detail about lies Betty’s been told by those she loved and depended on, to the people who wanted her out of the way so that her husband’s stardom and fame would continue to ascend. She didn’t seem intimidated by anything and perhaps part of it is because she is truly naïve at heart. Though she’s gone through tribulations that would crush a mere mortal, Betty Marvin in “Tales of a Hollywood Housewife” proves that she’s ready for her close up, but not the one that ends with cameras and spotlights glaring down at a person’s outer beauty, but for her, it’s her soul that is spotlighted on.

“Tales of a Hollywood Housewife” is one of the best autobiographies in the past 10 years. It goes right on the top of my shelf alongside “Tab Hunter Confidential.” This book is available at bookstores around the nation and by going to If there is one book you want for winter reading, it should be this one.

Better than tabloid, October 10, 2010
Reader Views "" (Austin, Texas)

This review is from: Tales of a Hollywood Housewife: A Memoir by The First Mrs. Lee Marvin (Paperback)
Reviewed by S.G. Smith for Reader Views (10/10)

If you are someone who is fascinated with reading tabloid magazines to get the latest scoop on Hollywood royalty, you are going to love "Tales of a Hollywood Housewife." Betty Marvin, ex-wife of Hollywood star Lee Marvin, gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what celebrity life was really about - before reality television became the norm.

Betty's firsthand account of going from poor girl in Washington to the wife of actor Lee Marvin reads as if she is sitting with you and telling you the story in your own living room. It is easy to forget that you are reading a book instead of actually listening to this woman tell you about her children, her homes, her escapades from one crazy situation to another, to how she came out on top after having nothing. It is hard not to sympathize with everything Betty went through and put up with for the sake of her children - and her sanity.

One of the most entertaining accounts of Betty's life is when she recounts serving as a nanny to Joan Crawford's children. Having the affirmation that the subtext of the title "Mommy Dearest" is spellbinding and then learning about the real personalities of other Hollywood "royalty" members is captivating. Betty easily brings you into her life and shows you around, all the while maintaining the air of grace that she was known for.

"Tales of a Hollywood Housewife" is an entertaining read which shows that all of the glitz-and-glamour of Hollywood really is make-believe.

Listen in to my interview on 9/9/10 at 3:00 p.m. with Rick Rowe at
this link or check it out later.

I will be interviewed on Wednesday, July 7, at 7 pm. Tune in at blog below.

Blog interview with Breakfree to Success on Wednesday, May 26 at 4pm
Click play below to hear.

Words of Praise:

.....She has lived life to the fullest (and its leanest) to come out triumphant overall and we the readers are more enriched for it.
– Dwayne Epstein

.....The behind-the-scenes Hollywood stories are fascinating, but her journey through life after Hollywood is simply inspiring. A must read! I highly recommend this memoir.
– Anonymous

.....I was SO inspired after reading your book. You overcame so much and did not let anything defeat you. I loved your story and your inspiration. I hope more women will read this book and learn to believe in themselves again. You are my hero!
– Sue Stewart

You have written a remarkable and beautifully wrought series of memories of a stunningly exciting life, and the only way anyone could possibly believe everything you've managed to do in your life is to see it in print and in good strong English. I loved it. I couldn't put it down. It's a damned good yarn about a very human struggle. The really appealing thing about your story is that so many people have had to go through this kind of thing only without the weight of fame attached to it. It's hard to lead a public life and to keep the dark secrets private, and you described the phenomenon beautifully. The combination creates terrible fear, and you have described it truthfully and lovingly. And I think that's what I liked the most, that you wrote lovingly. Even Lee couldn't argue with that.
– George Backman

Book signing Santa Barbara

Betty at a book signing