Betzy Dahl (1922 - 2014)

A photo of Betzy Dahl
Betzy Dahl
1922 - 2014
Harstad, Harstad County, Troms, Norway
Harstad Sykehjem in Harstad, Harstad County, Troms, Norge
Betzy Dahl was born in 1922 in Harstad, Harstad County, Troms Norway to Eugene Dahl and Olaug Larsen, and died at age 91 years old in 2014 at Harstad Sykehjem in Harstad. Family, friend, or fan, this family history biography is for you to remember Betzy Dahl.
Updated: August 4, 2022
Biography ID: 192526627

Betzy Dahl's Biography

Family, friend, or fan this Collaborative Biography is for you to show & tell Betzy's life so that she is always remembered.
About Betzy


Betzy Dahl was born to Eugene Dahl (born 1891) and Olaug Larsen (1896-1986) in Harstad Norway. She grew up in a small town, and according to neighbors was glamorous and "looked like a movie star."

Betzy left her hometown in the 1950s, going to Paris and kept traveling to far-flung locations - from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco and Mexico. Then in the 1970s, she returned home.

When she returned home, she had changed and isolated herself from others. She showed signs of what some considered mental illness but no one really knew what exactly was wrong.

Betzy eventually ended up in a nursing home and died there in 2014, alone. At one point she had a fair amount of money but that was gone. At her funeral the small town wondered what had happened to the glamorous woman who everyone adored.

A Norwegian tv show told the story of Betzy's life, and as it turns out, she might have changed so dramatically because she had a child either shortly before she left Harstad or while travelling abroad which she gave up for adoption. See Norwegian TV show - Betzy's story to read a transcript of the t.v. show.

About Betzy's travels around the world:

A New York passenger list shows a Betzy Dahl arrived on January 15th 1957 at Idlewild Airport in New York from Mexico, and then might have travelled to Paris France. Then on May 7th 1959 there is a record of Betsy arriving in Los Angeles California via the airline SAS and shows a US address for Mrs. McCain at 1411 Hyde Street in San Francisco.
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Betzy Dahl
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Betzy Dahl
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None stated
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Harstad, Harstad County, Troms Norway
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Ethnicity & Family History


Nationality & Locations

Betzy was born in Harstad, Harstad County, Troms Norway, but travelled all over the world. In the 1950s she was in Paris, travelled throughout the United States from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco California, Mexico, and other locations. In the 1970s she returned home to Harstad where she lived until her death in 2014.


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Personal Life

Betzy was the 'celebrity' of her small hometown in Harstad. The town knew her as a young adult who was glamorous, well dressed, wore 'bright red lipstick', and had charisma. Shortly after the end of World War 2 she left Harstad and travelled around the world - possibly receiving an education in New York. Likely just before she left Harstad in the 1950s, it is believed that she had a child which she had to give up for adoption. According to the National Archives in Copenhagen, Betzy had a daughter. When Betzy returned to her hometown she returned a different woman. She was more reclusive and withdrawn, and lived a private life until she passed.

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Harstad Sykehjem in Harstad, Harstad County, Troms Norge
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The below was generated. Please share Betzy's obituary if available, or write one in your own words to preserve her memory.
Betzy Dahl passed away at age 91 years old in 2014 at Harstad Sykehjem in Harstad. Betzy Dahl was born in 1922 in Harstad, Harstad County, Troms Norway to Eugene Dahl and Olaug Larsen. Family, friend, or fan, this family history biography is for you to remember Betzy Dahl.

Average Age & Life Expectancy

Betzy Dahl lived 17 years longer than the average Dahl family member when she died at the age of 92.
The average age of a Dahl family member is 75.

Memories: Stories & Photos

Who is Betzy Dahl to you? Share memories and family stories, photos, or ask questions.
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Betzy Dahl
Confirmation photo of a young Betzy Dahl.
Date & Place: Not specified or unknown.
Betzy Dahl
A photo of Betzy at age 36.
Date & Place: Not specified or unknown.
Norwegian TV show - Betzy's story
She died alone. Only now comes Betzy's secret for a day
Betzy Dahl was seen as an urban original in her hometown of Harstad. No one could imagine what an exciting international life she had lived, or what great grief she bore alone when she returned home.

Pastor Odd Willy Johansen will never forget the funeral of 92-year-old Betzy Dahl in Harstad in 2014. "I struggled a lot to hold back the tears throughout the funeral", he says host Tarjei Strøm in the series Unknown heir, which is shown on NRK1, and which can be seen in NRK's ​​online player.

The priest remembers it as one of the funerals that has touched him most throughout his career.

City original Betzy Dahl lived in a nursing home and was alone when she died. No relatives sat by her side. What has she been thinking lately? And who did she let her mind go to?

Every year, between ten and twenty Norwegians die without having written a will and without having obvious heirs in close family. If ten years pass without anyone claiming the inheritance, the values ​​will go to the state. In the NRK program Ukjent arving, which premiered on 5 November, host Tarjei Strøm solves Norwegian heritage mysteries from reality.

In the episode Beauty Lady's Secret, which is shown on NRK tonight, an incredible story is unfolded about a woman who broke barriers throughout her life. As an older woman, she went by the names "Gale Betzy" or "Miss Paris" among people in Harstad.

She was always interested in looking good with elegant clothes, bright red lipstick and thick, wavy hair. At the same time, she isolated herself from people and no one really knew her. She never told anyone what she had experienced through her life.

Like a movie star

A distant relative, tracked down by NRK, remembers that Betzy looked like a movie star as a young woman. Betzy was glamorous and world-famous and left Harstad already as a teenager towards the end of World War II.

It should turn out that she received an education, and that she lived and worked in several countries. The tracks go to the artist district Montparnasse in Paris in the 60s and Copenhagen in the 50s.

Not until the 70s does Betzy move back home to Harstad for good.

But back home in Harstad, Betzy is starting to look different. It seems to the family that she is starting to get mentally ill. She isolates herself. Could the reason be that an old love has passed away? Or was it something that went even deeper? As time goes on, she is unable to take care of herself and is admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

With the help of the National Archives in Copenhagen, NRK also comes across unexpected information. Betzy has a closer family than anyone could have imagined: In the 50's she gave birth to a daughter who was adopted in Copenhagen. Who is the father? Where is the daughter today? Does she know about Betzy? Host Tarjei Strøm has to pick up a nerve-wracking phone. Will Betzy's adopted daughter meet him? You'll get the answer to that in tonight's episode.

Betzy did not leave much money behind.
Betzy Dahl - Immigration Form
This May 7th 1959 immigration form for Dahl Betzy shows that she had plans to stay indefinitely with Mrs. McCain at 1411 Hyde St in San Francisco California.
Date & Place: in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California United States
She was not an only child. Her father, Eugen had an relationship with a woman named Alexandra Marie Leonhardsen, before marrying Olaug. They had a daughter named Hjørdis Marie. Hjørdis never knew who her father was, and died in 2004, still unaware that she had a little sister.

Family Tree & Friends

Betzy's immediate relatives including parents, siblings, partnerships and children in the Dahl family tree.
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Betzy's Family Tree

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1922 - 2014 World Events

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Betzy's lifetime.

In 1922, in the year that Betzy Dahl was born, from October 22nd - 29th, 3,000 men of Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party marched on Rome. (Mussolini waited in Milan, he did not participate in the March.) The day after the March Mussolini went to Rome and the King of Italy handed over power to Mussolini, in part because he was supported by the military, the business class, and the right-wing factions of Italy.

In 1930, when she was merely 8 years old, as head of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, William Hays established a code of decency that outlined what was acceptable in films. The public - and government - had felt that films in the '20's had become increasingly risque and that the behavior of its stars was becoming scandalous. Laws were being passed. In response, the heads of the movie studios adopted a voluntary "code", hoping to head off legislation. The first part of the code prohibited "lowering the moral standards of those who see it", called for depictions of the "correct standards of life", and forbade a picture from showing any sort of ridicule towards a law or "creating sympathy for its violation". The second part dealt with particular behavior in film such as homosexuality, the use of specific curse words, and miscegenation.

In 1966, Betzy was 44 years old when on July 1st, Medicare became available after President Johnson signed into law the Medicare Act in 1965. President Truman had received the first Medicare card since he had been the first to propose national healthcare law. insurance.

In 1974, when she was 52 years old, on February 5th, Patty Hearst, age 19 - granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst and daughter of publisher of the San Francisco Examiner Randolph Hearst - was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a left wing terrorist group. She was found, alive, 19 months later.

In 1993, she was 71 years old when on January 20th, William J. Clinton became the 42nd President of the United States. He beat incumbent George H.W. Bush who was seeking his second term. Clinton won 43.01% of the popular vote to Bush's 37.45%. An independent candidate, Ross Perot, won 18.91% - the most votes for an independent candidate since Teddy Roosevelt's run for President in 1912.

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