Betty Hutton as Pearl White in 'The Perils of Pauline' Designed by Edith Head


A two-piece gown solidly beaded with translucent blue bugle beads over green silk consisting of [C031A] fitted bodice with full-length sleeves, attached peplum, ornamented at back with scalloped inset panel of nude silk illusion; [C031B] matching fitted floor length skirt, slit at the front; [C031C] a prop turquoise ostrich feather muff. Garment has a PARAMOUNT LADIES WARDROBE stamp in bodice.
Singer Peggy Lee later wore the costume in publicity photos.





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Additional Notes

Betty Hutton, WWII’s “Blonde Bombshell” was an unusual and underrated actress and comedienne from the 1940s wartime era with a remarkably elastic singing voice and powerful range. Popular in the 1940’s, she contributed to keeping Paramount Studio’s head above the water, when other studios were starting to falter. In the process, she managed to alienate many powerful moguls in Hollywood and it is a shame that she has not been recognized for the contributions that she made. Many years later, she struggled from depression and drug abuse, but the public had already forgotten her. As, Pearl White, the silent film star, Betty performs and incredibly spirited rendition of “Papa, Don’t Preach to Me” in this gown.

Edith Head created an extremely heavy two-piece gown for the musical number, solidly beaded in blue bugle beads. But, Betty manipulated the gown with ease and the male dancers in the number must have had a hard time tossing her around. Two similar gowns were created for this number, one solidly beaded and one created of beads and lighter weight sequins. The second dress was used by the stunt double as she climbs the curtain and the end of the production number and falls, thus ending the characters career.



“Betty Hutton as Pearl White in 'The Perils of Pauline' Designed by Edith Head,” Film Costume Collection, accessed June 6, 2023,

Item Relations

Item: Images of Betty Hutton in 'The Perils of Pauline' Still images from film This Item