Attractive blonde minor film actress of the 1930s (notably as the lead in "Midshipman Jack" 1933 and as featured player in "The Magnificent Obsession" 1935) who became a household name in the 1950s as...
Appointed President Johnson's Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs and chairwoman of the President's Commission on Consumer Affairs
Was consumer columnist for MCCALL's magazine
Ended film career
Was given an on-air tryout as cohost of "Today" after the departure of Barbara Walters; the job went to Jane Pauley
Became TV's highest-paid product representative as model/spokeswoman for Westinghouse refrigerators throughout the 1950s on CBS dramatic series "Studio One"
Hosted TV variety series, "Penhouse Party"
Began modeling for the John Roberts Powers Agency
Served as chairwoman and executive director of New York State Consumer Protection Board
Successfully battled stomach cancer
Appeared on Broadway stage during the 1940s in "Doughgirls" and "My Sister Eileen"
Named consumer affairs director and reporter for NBC-TV in New York; also contributed weekly consumer affairs segment to the "Today Show" (1974)
Signed by RKO
Let go as consumer affairs reporter by NBC; to be replaced by a more aggressive investigative reporter in March
Starred in her own TV series, "Byline" playing a reporter
Resumed consumer column in MCCALL'S
Appeared on CBS-radio in "Dimension of a Woman's World" and "Ask Betty Furness"
Became a child model at age 14 (date approximate)
Named New York City Commissioner of Consumer Affairs by Mayor John Lindsay
Attractive blonde minor film actress of the 1930s (notably as the lead in "Midshipman Jack" 1933 and as featured player in "The Magnificent Obsession" 1935) who became a household name in the 1950s as a model opening refrigerator doors for Westinghouse television commercials and uttering the familiar catch phrase "You can be sure. ..if it's Westinghouse".
In the 1960s Furness was apppointed President Johnson's Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs and brought a new high visibility to consumer rights and corporate responsibility. In 1973 she shifted her focus to local consumer affairs when she was named commissioner of New York City's Dpeartment of Consumer Affairs and functioned as chairwoman of New York State's Consumer Protection Board. She pioneered as one of the first consumer affairs reporters in TV broadcasting, serving as correspondent for NBC News from 1974 to 1992, covering issues ranging from the underreporting calories by food companies to faulty auto tires.
Married Jan. 3, 1945 ; Remarried June 1946 until his death April 1950
was an official with Union Carbon and Carbide Corporation
"Betty Furness spend the first part of her television career pitching products on behalf of advertisers, and the rest of it defending consumers against some of those advertisers."--Tim Brooks ("The Complete Directory to Primetime TV Stars", 1987)
Board of directors member for the Consumers Union (1969- ).
Served as a board of directors member to the Common Cause in 1971-75.
She was awarded honorary LLD from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1968.
She was granted honorary Doctor of Civil Law from Pace University (1973).
Received a honorary LLD from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY (1978).
She was given a honorary LLD from Marymount College (1983)