Valley Broadcast Legends
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Cal Bollwinkel 

Betty Stoddard Ford

(Copy by Jim Drennan)

I used to know Betty Stoddard Ford as the nice lady who said hello and goodbye to
me as I passed the receptionist’s desk at Channel Ten back in the Seventies. Little did
I know what a rich history was behind her smile.

It all began when 16-year-old Betty won first prize in Camille Mascara’s “The Girl
with the Most Beautiful Eyes in the World” contest. The prize was a trip to Hollywood,
including a screen test or a diamond watch. Her mother ordered her to take the watch.
She later went to Hollywood anyway, where she landed walk-on parts in the CBS programs Life with Luigi, Your Town USA, It’s Always Jan and My Favorite Husband.

While living in LA, she was invited to a Sacramento soiree which welcomed Sacramento’s first TV station (KCCC) to town. There she met KCCC co-owner Ashley Robison, who had seen her on some of her sitcoms. He asked her on the spot if she’d be interested in moving back to Sacramento and doing her own TV show. At the time she was going through a divorce and raising two little girls, and she decided to return to Sacramento where she had family.

On Sept. 30, 1953, KCCC went live, and so did Betty at noon with Betty Stoddard’s Open House, becoming Sacramento’s first television on-air talent. The weekday show ran for two years. Harry Martin was her producer and, back in those days of live television, loved to play jokes on her. His worst was when he put doggy-doo onto the cottage cheese she was supposed to use for a live Borden’s commercial. She discovered it in time and disguised it with parsley, but she never forgave Harry.

In 1955 she moved to Channel Ten for Take Ten, which lasted until 1957. She stayed on until 1973, part of the time as station receptionist.

Betty was a member of Valley Broadcast Legends almost from the beginning. We heard that she passed away several weeks ago, but we’ve been unable to track down any details as to services from her relatives. Sadly, she left us just weeks before she was featured on the special TV program commemorating the 60th anniversary of Channel 10.



last edited 20 May 2020