Jan. 17th, 1922
Oak Park, Illinois, USA
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Although best known as the devious Sue Ann Nivens on the classic sitcom "Mary Tyler Moore" (1970) and the ditzy Rose Nylund on "The Golden Girls" (1985), Betty White had been in television for a long, long time before those two shows, having had her own series, "Life with Elizabeth" (1952) in 1952. The widow of TV game-show host Allen Ludden, she has been inducted into the Television Hall of Fame and is known for her tireless efforts on behalf of animals.
- 'James L. Brooks' (qv) offered her the role of 'Helen Hunt (I)' (qv)'s mother in _As Good as It Gets (1997)_ (qv). She turned it down because she objected to the treatment of the dog in the film.
- Received the Women's International Center (WIC) Living Legacy Award in 1988.
- Is an avid animal welfare activist and works with a number of organizations; including the Los Angeles Zoo Commission, the Morris Animal Foundation, and Actors & Others for Animals.
- Per her autobiography, White was named "Betty" at birth not "Elizabeth" because her parents did not want her to be saddled with any of the nicknames and derivatives of Elizabeth -- i.e. Beth, Liza, Ellie, etc.
- Moved to Los Angeles when she was only two years old.
- Was portraying the conniving, gold-digging Ellen Harper, the niece of 'Rue McClanahan' (qv), who played the prudish Aunt Fran, On _"Mama's Family" (1983)_ (qv) at the same time as they were working together on _"The Golden Girls" (1985)_ (qv) in almost opposite roles.
- Parents' names were Horace and Tess White.
- Is an avid Animal Rights activist and is a sponsor for Farm Animal Reform Movement and Friends of Animals.