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Betty Crocker is a brand and fictional
character utilized by General Mills.
The character was created by General Mills’ precursor, the Washburn-Crosby
Company, and advertiser
Bruce Barton in 1921 as a way to give personalized responses to consumer
questions that had been submitted to the company with responses to a contest
they ran. “Betty” was chosen for sounding like a cheery, all-American name,
while “Crocker” was a tribute to Wasburn-Crosby Company director William
Crocker. In 1924, she acquired a voice as the host of the Minneapolis radio
Betty Crocker Cooking School of the Air, portrayed by Blanche Ingersoll
and later Marjorie
Husted, who supervised Crocker’s development for General Mills. When the
show went national, Agnes White also assumed the role and the three women would
anonymously portray Crocker for the next 30 years.
Ad from NBC radio congratulating Hawley on the first year of her radio show.
General Mills hired actress Adelaide Hawley to become the face of Betty
Crocker. Despite her lack of cooking knowledge, Hawley was ideal for the role
due to her broadcasting experience (she hosted her own radio show through the
early 1950s). She would appear in commercials for the brand during The George Burns and Gracie
Allen Showbefore gaining her own program, The Betty Crocker Show, on
CBS. A year into it, Hawley also came to star
in another show on ABC: Betty Crocker Star Matinee.