|Portrayed by||January Jones|
|First appearance||Smoke Gets in Your Eyes|
|Residence|| Ossining, NY|
|Parent(s)|| Eugene Hofstadt (father)|
Ruth Hofstadt (mother)
|Child(ren)|| Sally Draper|
|Sibling(s)||William Hofstadt (brother)|
Elizabeth "Betty" Hofstadt was born in 1932 and is the ex-wife of Don Draper.
She was born in Cape May, New Jersey where her family summered and raised in grew up in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. Betty mentioned having a German grandmother and that she comes from Nordic people. Her first kiss was with a Jewish boy named David Rosenberg. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1954 with an Anthropology degree, and briefly modeled in Italy before moving to Manhattan. It was during this time that she met Don Draper, when he was a copywriter for a fur company and she was a model posing for a print ad (as told by Joan in "Lady Lazarus").
Betty and Don lived in Ossining with their 2 children Sally Draper and Robert Draper. In the spring of 1960, Betty started to see a psychiatrist because of repeated spells of numbness in her hands. In combination with psychosocial stressors and the exclusion of a neurological cause, it seems likely that Betty was experiencing Conversion Disorder. It was during these meetings that, after having discovered that the psychiatrist was giving reports of her sessions to Don, she either admitted, or to "test the waters," threw out the suspicion that she knew of her husband's infidelities. Sometime by February 1962, the consultations were stopped.
After a dinner party where Betty is embarrassed to be considered a "demographic" by Don Draper and his associates, she confronts her husband about his adultery, specifically with Bobbie Barrett. ("A Night to Remember") Don, however, denies having an affair. The next day, with a glass of wine in hand, Betty searches through Don's belongings for any proof of his indiscretions, but does not find it. Betty awakens Don - who is sleeping on the couch - that night and explains that she doesn't want things to "be like this." He repeats that he did not do anything and when she asks if he hates her, he insists that he loves her and doesn't want to "lose this." When preparing dinner the next day, an Utz commercial featuring Jimmy Barrett airs on the television. After seeing this, she calls Don at work and tells him she doesn't want him to come home.
Betty does turn to Don when she learns that her father Gene has suffered a stroke. She and Don leave the children with a neighbor and drive to visit her father; Betty is visibly impatient with both her father's wife Gloria Massey and her brother William. She and Don are careful to present a united front. At the end of a stressful day, Betty makes Don sleep on the floor of the guestroom, but later joins him on the floor where they make love. The next morning, Betty's father mistakes Betty for her mother Ruth, suggesting that they "go upstairs." Betty is severely shocked and frightened, but tries to pretend that everything is all right. When she and Don return to New York, Betty asks Don Draper to leave again.
Betty discovers she is pregnant around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although she brings up the subject of abortion with her doctor, and also has sex with a random man at a bar, she asks Don to return home and tells him that she is pregnant.
During the Spring of 1963 Betty and Don attend a garden party hosted by Roger Sterling and his new wife, Jane Siegel, where she meets Henry Francis, who is later revealed to be an advisory to then-New York governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. He is infatuated with her, and though she seems reluctant to return his feelings, their affair intensifies, though Betty eventually ends it, feeling guilty.
In Spring of 1963, she gives birth to Eugene Scott Draper, whom she names after her father.
In November, Don is cornered by Betty, who has managed to unearth evidence of Don's past life via pictures and documents from a locked drawer in his desk. He tells her about his life as Dick Whitman, how he came to exchange dog tags with Lieutenant Don Draper, and Adam's suicide. While apparently somewhat sympathetic to his feelings of guilt about the latter, Betty is highly conflicted about the fact that Don has hidden this aspect of his life from her for the duration of their relationship and marriage.
After President Kennedy's death and Margaret Sterling's wedding, Betty meets with Henry Francis, who confesses to her that he wishes to eventually marry her. They passionately kiss, and after the encounter, Betty returns home to tell Don she no longer loves him, leaving him stunned and distraught. This culminates in her seeing a divorce lawyer. Roger Sterling, whose daughter is friends with Francis' daughter, unintentionally reveals to Don that Betty is having an affair. An incensed Don confronts Betty. After calling her a whore, he assures her that she "won't get a nickel" in the ensuing divorce and that he intends to seek sole custody of the children.
The next morning, he and Betty tell the children of the new arrangement, and both see the level of damage the end of their marriage will deal to the kids. After moving into Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce's new office, Don calls Betty and tells her that he will not fight her, and wishes her the best. She then travels to Reno with baby Gene and Henry.
A New Husband
Almost a year after Betty and Don Draper's divorce, both she and Henry Francis were still living in Don's home, a house he was still paying for. Don requests that if they do not move out soon, he will need to start collecting rent. After Don leaves, Henry tells Betty that he agrees with Don and that it is time for Betty to start looking for a house, and is promptly rebuffed by Betty. ("Public Relations")
Glen Bishop tells Sally that Betty and Don will never get back together, but that Betty and Henry will decide to move soon. While the family is out of the house, Glen and a friend trash the house. Henry searches the house, to find the rest of the house trashed. ("Christmas Comes But Once a Year")
After Sally cuts her hair while under the supposed care of Don, Betty slaps her upon her return. Henry tries to tell Betty that young girls do these sorts of things, taking memories from his own time raising his now grown daughter, to which Betty calls him soft. After Sally is caught masturbating at a friends house, Henry suggests professional help. Betty admits to a shocked and speechless Henry that at one point she saw a psychiatrist. ("The Chrysanthemum and the Sword")
Sally ran away, and is brought to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce by a kind woman. Don called Betty to tell her what happened, though Betty was unwilling to come pick up Sally at that time. She told Don that she would pick her up the following day. When it came time for her to return home with her mother, Sally made a scene, but eventually left the office quietly with her mother. ("The Beautiful Girls")
Don was able to acquire Beatles tickets from Harry Crane. Sally received a phone call from Don, letting her know that they would be going to the concert, much to her delight. By this point Betty appears moderately cordial with Don. ("Hands and Knees")
Ralph Stuben, a a New York political operative for Congressman John Lindsay, joined Betty and Henry for dinner at a restaurant the same night that Don was having dinner with Bethany Van Nuys. Ralph Stuben and Betty joined Henry in walking over to extend courteous hellos to Don, and then went on their way to their own table. Once they walk away Don mentions to Bethany that Ralph is about to have a horrible dinner. Betty was aggravated at the mere sight of Don and spent most of the dinner glaring at Don, embarrassing Henry. He believed that Betty had too much anger in her towards Don. On his way to work, he rammed his car into boxes that Don was storing in the garage. He then called Don and told him to pick up the boxes the day before Gene's birthday. He picked up the boxes, which were on the curb, and saw Henry mowing the lawn. Henry was slightly shocked when he saw Don show up for Gene's party, though Betty comforted him, telling him that she had "everything". ("The Suitcase")
Betty called Don after a visit by agents investigating Don's background, telling him that she did not reveal the truth of his identity. He was quite apologetic about putting her in that situation, unaware that they would visit. Later that night, Betty told Henry that she didn't want any secrets between them. ("Hands and Knees")
Betty talked to Sally Draper's psychiatrist, and though she believed that Sally was doing better, she wanted Betty to talk to another professional. When Betty objected, the psychiatrist said she could continue to meet with her. In her free time Sally talked to Glen Bishop. One day Betty saw both of them walking together into the wooded area they hung out in, and confronted her. Later, Betty told Henry that it was time to move. Upon hearing this, Sally ran upstairs and cried in her bed, however Henry was happy to finally hear that Betty was ready to move out of the house. ("Blowing Smoke")
A New Betty
On July 4, 1966, we find Betty still married to her new husband, and strutting a new, and much-larger look. After half a year of uncharacteristic weight gain, Betty finds her self-confidence and her sex life with Henry deteriorating. Henry's mother, who realizes Betty's weight gain, suggests getting a prescription for diet pills. When she goes to the doctor, he finds a lump in her throat that could possibly be cancerous. Betty starts to worry about what might happen if she is sick, and the life she will leave behind. A biopsy shows that the lump in benign, but she is more upset over her appearance. In "Dark Shadows", Betty is now attending weight watchers meetings in hopes of losing the weight. After finding a love letter written by Don to Megan on the back of Bobby's drawing, she tells Sally that her father was married to someone else before her since she is doing a family tree project for school. Realizing that her mother said this to make her upset, she tells Betty that Don told her about his ex-wife, and even showed her pictures.
When season six opens up, Betty is still overweight and generally unhappy. She connects with Sally's older friend Sandy. Who is staying at the house during the holidays. Sandy confides in her that she did not get accepted into Juilliard, but has told everyone she did because she wants to go to New York and live in the village. Betty shares some of her own experiences from when she was a struggling model, and advises her to wait until she graduates high school. After coming home from the grocery store, she disovers that Sandy has already left to go to school. She spends an entire day in the village area looking for her, and discovers that Sandy is now going to California, and that she even sold her violin for money. She tries to take the violin from the guy who bought it, who taughts her for being a bored housewife and a "bottled blond". A few days later, Betty shocks her family by dying her hair dark brown. Her children hate her new look, but Henry says she looks like Elizabeth Taylor.
Betty's mother died early in 1960. ("Ladies Room") Her father, Gene, had a girlfriend named Gloria, whom Betty didn't like and whom her father marries; Gloria left Gene when he began showing signs of mental deterioration, in 1963. He moved in with the Drapers shortly before he died. Her father lived in a Philadelphia suburb (Bryn Mawr) and had a summer home in Cape May, New Jersey.
She has a brother, William, who is married and has daughters whom Don and Betty consider "rowdy." William knew that Betty was their father's favorite and may have a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to Don.
Betty Francis personifies the phrase "drop dead gorgeous;" she looks glamorous in everything from jockey attire to a pink negligee. Betty's beautiful floral print dresses and matching head bands, sophisticated hair styles, high waisted pants, fur coats, smart stilettos and crimson lips inspire even the wrinkliest couch potato with awe! This season Betty has been moving away from her signature floral print dresses toward slim, more conservative suits. Perhaps Betty is adapting to her new life as the wife of politician Henry Francis, or perhaps this new look represents a lady who is finally starting to find her independence. Regardless, we can't wait to see what new style surprises Betty's got up her sleeve this season. Betty has surprised everyone with sudden and unexplained changes. Her weight gain and dyed-black hair was her oddest of style choices. She was going for the Elizabeth Taylor-look and ended up resembling Henry's mother.