Unable to break free of heroin addition and heavy drinking Billie's physical state continued to deteriorate. She remained active with recordings and nightclub dates and also reunited with Lester Young for a television tribute to jazz in 1957 called The Sound of Jazz. In May of 1959 she was admitted to hospital for a liver ailment and was put under house arrest in her hospital bed for heroin possession. She died on July 17 of a kidney infection with $750 taped to one of her legs.
William P. Gottlieb