He was born in Fister in the Hjelmeland municipality as the son of a preacher. When Odd was three years old, his family moved to Grorud in Oslo. Later in his life, between 1946 and 1952, he worked as a telegrapher among other things.
Odd Børretzen debuted as an author in 1959 with his self-illustrated children's book Byen som laget brannbil (The city that made the firetruck). He gave out his first record album in 1974. His play Synd og skam (Pity and shame) was shown on Teater Ibsen in 1994. Odd Børretzen's Manuscripts are always written by hand.
He is well known for his many performances with Julius Hougen on radio and television as Braathen, a pensioner. They received a strong reaction to the so-called pensioner sketches, and therefore Børretzen decided to stop performing them due to bad conscience. He also was the narrator for the animation series Kalles klatretre (Kalle's climbing tree) on NRK.