Betty Jane Orbach

Obituary for Betty Jane Orbach, 1926-2013
Betty Jane Hall was born January 3, 1926, in Los Angeles.  She and husband Kenny Orbach met at 14 at Manual Arts High School, and married at 20. While Kenny was at war in the Pacific Betty swam in Esther Williams’ Synchronized Swimming Troup, appearing in several of Esther’s movies with Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Durante and other stars of the 1940s. Kenny and Betty lived in Los Angeles, Whittier, and finally Newport Beach, CA, with their sons Michael and Kort.  Kenny passed away on a family boating weekend in the storm of 1966 at Catalina Island, and Betty enjoyed 47 more years with wonderful and caring friends and sons Michael, his wife Judi and grandson Matthew, and Kort and his wife Anja and granddaughter Lena.  Betty taught literature at Newport Harbor High School until her retirement in 1988, after which she traveled the world, served on the Board of Directors of Stop Polluting Our Newport (SPON), co-authored a biographical narrative book, “Tiger in a Cage” with Alma Wu and Carol Hazelwood, and was a regular at the UCI and Newport Beach Performing Arts Center programs. Contributions in her name can be made to the Newport Bay Conservancy at

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