Being the son of a baseball star (St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Frank Bettger) didn't curb Lyle Bettger's acting ambitions for a moment. He had his eyes on the entertainment industry from a young age, shining in the Dramatics Club at the Haverford School, an esteemed prep school for boys in Pennsylvania. He attended college for a few years, but left to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. After graduating in 1937, Bettger took stage roles with touring companies and local theater groups for what he called "10 indifferent years in the theater." The film production company Paramount stepped up with a three-year contract just as he was considering throwing in the towel. After he spent a decade appearing in mostly comedies, Paramount made the seemingly odd decision to place him in the role of a villain opposite Barbara Stanwyck in "No Man of Her Own," a dark drama about intimidation and betrayal. From this point on, Bettger was rarely granted the opportunity to play anything but cruel and intimidating characters. Off camera, however, he was quite affable, well-liked among his colleagues, and relished every moment with his longtime wife and three children.