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At 94, The Real Betty From ‘Archie’ Rules

Betty’s eponym is Betty Tokar Jankovich, a former girlfriend of Mr. Montana and a current resident of Edison, who will be attending the screening.

Ms. Jankovich is tickled by the attention (“To have all this publicity at the age of 94, it is ironic, isn’t it?”) and had no idea of the role she played in Americana until Mr. Clancy found her. “It’s wonderful the way it developed,” she said during a recent telephone interview.

Her family emigrated from Czechoslovakia to Perth Amboy in 1929, when she was 8. A decade later, she and her sister, Helen, would commute to Lower Manhattan to work in the cafeteria at the Western Union Building. The same building housed M.L.J. Comics, the forerunner to Archie Comic Publications. In the lobby, the sisters met Mr. Montana and his best friend, Harry Lucey, another illustrator, who invited them out. “We work in the same building and you’re very nice-looking men, so why not?” Ms. Jankovich recalled.

I share a bouncy blonde ponytail and a similar attitude towards accepting dates as Betty Tokar Jankovich, the real-life inspiration for the Betty in Archie comics, but like every bitch with too much self-esteem and the right amount of tight sweaters I think I’m a Veronica. This brief interview in the New York Times with the subject of an upcoming documentary, Archie’s Betty, is very cute, you should read.


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