Her second marriage also failed, as did a third, and she suffered a nervous breakdown.
He was sent to prison, and for a time Betty lived in an orphanage.
She moved to Florida in 1957 and married a much younger man, as an early marriage to her high school sweetheart had ended in divorce.
They cut her hair into the dark bangs that became her signature and posed her in spiked heels and little else.
In her teens she acted in high school plays, going on to study drama in New York and win a screen test from 20th Century Fox before her modeling career took off.
In 1959, she was lying on a sea wall in Key West when she saw a church with a white neon cross on top.