In her mid-teens, Betty Phillips sang leading roles in musicals at Richmond High School and also sang in a girls' choir organised by Burton Kurth. In the early 1940s she studied voice with in turn Mignon Duke Gidy, Avis Phillips, and Phylis Inglis and piano with Phyllis Schuldt. Phillips' radio career began in 1948 with a CBC Vancouver light classical series and has included regular appearances on the CBC; variety work in 1955 on the BBC; solo, recital, and folksong performances on the CBC.
Betty sang locally in Theatre-in-the-Park productions while studying at the University of British Columbia. As an actress she has played many roles at Bastion Theatre, Victoria, and the Arts Club Theatre, Vancouver, and has also appeared at Persephone Theatre, Saskatoon and at Citadel Theatre, Edmonton.