Betty Taylor, Star of Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Revue, Dies at 91
Singer-dancer dies one day after co-star Wally Boag passes.
Betty Taylor, the female star of Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Revue for more than three decades, died Saturday at her home in Washington state, one day following the death of her beloved co-star, Wally Boag. She was 91.
In the nearly 45,000 performances that she appeared in — five days a week for some 31 years — the vivacious blonde never lost her girlish enthusiasm for playing Sluefoot Sue, the role of Pecos Bill’s sweetheart, in the Frontierland stage attraction. She was named a Disney Legend in 1995.
“Betty Taylor must have been born to become Slue Foot Sue in Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Revue,” longtime Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar said. “She knew how to belt out a tune, in the storied tradition an old western saloon, and she held her own on a stage with the wild and wacky antics of Pecos Bill (Boag), the brogue of an Irish tenor (Fulton Burley) and a chorus line of can-can dancers.”
Taylor retired from the Golden Horseshoe Revue in 1987. She continued to appear in special events, such as Walt Disney’s Wild West, a retrospective of Disney’s vision of the American West that was showcased in 1995 at the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles.
At age 18, the Seattle native led her own band called Betty and Her Beaus, which included 16 male musicians and appeared regularly at the Trianon Ballroom in Seattle. Taylor went on to perform with a western radio show, Sons of the Pioneers, and traveled with big band leaders Les Brown, Henry Bussey and Red Nichols. She also played a six-week stint in Las Vegas with Frank Sinatra.
In 1956, while living in Los Angeles, Betty was about to hit the road again when she heard about auditions for a singing-and-dancing job in Walt Disney’s new theme park in Anaheim.
Taylor performed a variation of her Golden Horseshoe routine on TV with comedian Ed Wynn in an episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.
Boag, who appeared in Golden Horseshoe Revue from 1955-82, died Friday at age 90.