In Memoriam: Betty White (1922-2021)
Well, this was certainly not the post I wanted to write to end 2021.
Multiple sources from Deadline to TMZ are reporting that longtime actress Betty White has died at the age of 99, just weeks before her 100th birthday.
Born Betty Marion White on January 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois, White’s entry into the world of entertainment began at the age of eight when she appeared on an episode of the radio program Empire Builders. White’s first television appearance came in 1939 when just three months after graduating high school, White sang songs from The Merry Widow with a classmate. This kicked off a career spanning an incredible nine decades in which White would star in multiple award-winning television shows including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hot In Cleveland, and Boston Legal. The actress is also known as a pioneer in the industry, being the first woman to produce a sitcom with the show Life With Elizabeth.
White is probably best known for her portrayal of Rose Nylund on the hit series The Golden Girls which ran from 1985 to 1992. Throughout her career, Betty White also amassed multiple awards including eight Emmys, three SAG awards, and a Grammy. In 2018 she broke the Guinness World Record for the longest career in television. She also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live in 2010 after a massive online campaign.
In addition to television, White also appeared in twenty films, her last being a voice role for the 2019 animated movie Trouble. She also published seven books including Here We Go Again: My Life In Television and Betty & Friends: My Life At The Zoo. White married three times, most notably to television personality Allen Ludden. While she had no children of her own, White was the stepmother to Ludden’s three children by a previous marriage.
Personally, I will always remember Betty White as a warm, vivacious actress with an incredible sense of comedic timing. I have fond memories of watching The Golden Girls with my family and of her delightfully wicked turn as Delores Bickerman in 1999’s Lake Placid.
Rest in peace Betty White. You will be severely missed.