Betty Crocker Confidential

The making -- and remaking -- of America's sweet tart

The 1980s brought continued fame, fancy cars, jewels, rehab and a brief foray into transcendental meditation. She had another disastrous hair episode, trying cornrows with beads. But she remained the undisputed Culinary Queen, cranking out more convenience-food products than any of her contemporaries while building a billion-dollar empire.

Today, looking younger than ever, Betty Crocker is in her 80s. Martha Stewart often gushes that Crocker is her mentor and role model.

Her wild times appear to be behind her, as she concentrates on bringing her message to the people via the Internet. You can log on to her Web site and find a recipe for anything you happen to have on hand. You can e-mail her a question and she'll answer you back. She is now known as a humanitarian and philanthropist.

Rose Johnson

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