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Former MGM Actress and Singer from Cranbury Dies at 85

Sally Borthwick Strong was theatrically trained at MGM Studios as a teenager, sang at the Copacabana, and appeared on the Milton Cross radio show "Coast to Coast on a Bus".

Sally Ann (Borthwick) Strong, a 60 year resident of Cranbury, NJ, died Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 at Meadow Lakes in Hightstown, NJ. She was 85 years old. Sally Ann was born in Buffalo, NY to the late Harry and Martha (Hudson) Borthwick. She grew up in Winston-Salem, NC.

She was theatrically trained as a child and young adult which led to a career that included: an album recording at age 8; a contract with MGM Studios at age 16 where she was trained alongside Jane Powell, Elizabeth Taylor, Dean Stockwell, and others; singing performances at the Copacabana in Los Angeles on the same variety program with Groucho Marx and Nelson Eddy; and appearances on the Milton Cross radio show "Coast to Coast on a Bus." She voluntarily terminated this career when she rejected a new contract offer from Paramount Pictures. She instead favored pursuit of a family-focused life. She graduated from Salem College in 1950 with a BA in Music. She moved to New York City and worked for Dunn & Bradstreet. She met her husband, Philip Livingston Strong, in New York City and they were married on May 26, 1951, after which they moved to Cranbury, NJ. She was an active volunteer in Cranbury, working with the Cub Scouts, the Golden Age Neighbors, and her church. She was also a volunteer and past president of the Auxiliary at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center (then Middlesex General) in New Brunswick. Sally was employed by Gallup & Robinson Research in Princeton for a number of years, and later worked as a Medicare Information Specialist for the Central Jersey Health Planning Council, also in Princeton.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her brothers, William Borthwick and Theodore Borthwick. Sally is survived by her four sons, Harry of Missoula, Montana, Edward of Roseto, PA, Thomas of Monroe Twp, NJ, and Glen (Kathy) of Canton, Ohio. Also surviving are three grandchildren, Theodore, Stephen, and Hannah, plus step-grandson, Erin. Her best friend since 4th grade, Rossie Starr, lives in Greensboro, NC.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The RWJ University Hospital Foundation in New Brunswick, NJ www.rwjuhfdn.org or to JRC Cares (fka J.R. Coleman Outreach Services) www.jrccares.org in Canton, Ohio. A memorial service will be held 6:30pm on Thursday, Dec. 12 at the Barlow & Zimmer Funeral Home, 202 Stockton Street, Hightstown 08520. Calling hours will be held from 4:30pm until the time of the service.

- Obituary provided by Barlow & Zimmer Funeral Home

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