99 (passed away Dec. 31st, 2021)
Jan. 17th, 1922
Oak Park, Illinois, USA
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Betty Marion White Ludden was an award-winning actress and comedian famed for her role as Rose Nyland on The Golden Girls and Sue Ann NIvens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Her most recent roles were playing Elka Ostrovsky in Hot in Cleveland and hosting the practical jokes show Betty White's Off Their Rockers.
During a career that spanned more than 75 years, White received 23 Emmy nominations and won six. She held the record as the oldest Emmy nominee overall, receiving her most recent nomination in 2012 at age 90. In 2013, the Guinness Book of World Records awarded White with having the longest television career for a female entertainer.
Born an only child in Oak Park, Ill., Betty Marion White moved with her parents to Los Angeles at age 2. She began her career in radio, as a singer and voice actress. Her big television break came in 1949, co-hosting a daily live variety show, Hollywood on Television. Based on one of the sketches from the show, White and two others came up with the sitcom, Life with Elizabeth, in which she played the title character. The show was a huge boost for her career and White became one of the first female producers in Hollywood.
White went on to appear in other sitcoms, late night talk shows and daytime game shows. It was during a 1961 appearance on the game show Password that White met her third husband, the host Allen Ludden. White, who had been through two brief marriages previously, initially turned down Ludden's proposal. The couple remained married for 18 years until Ludden died of stomach cancer in 1981. White never remarried, once telling Larry King, "Once you've had the best, who needs the rest?"
A stepmother to Ludden's three children, White never had children of her own. She was widely known for her work with animals. She once told The Hollywood Reporter: "I'm actually the luckiest old broad alive. Half my life is working in a profession I love and the other half is working with animals." In the 1970s, White's career got a huge boost when she was cast in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. As Sue Ann Nivens, White showed audiences a sly wit lay behind her sweet smile. In contrast, her character on the 80s hit sitcom The Golden Girls, opposite Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty, was terminally naive. After Golden Girls ended, White guest-starred in a number of shows, including Ally McBeal, The Ellen Show, That '70s Show, and Malcolm in the Middle.
Her career went through another resurgence in the mid-2000s, with White appearing in the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, and co-starring opposite Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal.
As her popularity continued to grow for new generations of fans, White became the oldest host of Saturday Night Live in 2010, following a widespread Facebook campaign called, "Betty White to Host SNL (Please)."
While she is best remembered for her work as an actress, White would rather we remember her for something else - her love of animals and her passion for animal-related charities (via Biography). During her lifetime, the actress supported an eye-watering list of non-profit groups including the American Humane Society, Farm Sanctuary, the Morris Animal Foundation, PAWS/LA, and the spcaLA .
Betty White died at her home, less than three weeks before her 100th birthday.
- 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.
- Started career as the "Phone Girl" on 'Al Jarvis' (qv)'s afternoon TV show in L.A.
- Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1988. The star is next to her late husband, 'Allen Ludden' (qv),'s star.
- Is an avid Animal Rights activist and is a sponsor for Farm Animal Reform Movement and Friends of Animals.
- Played the same character, Rose Nylund, on four different TV series: _"The Golden Palace" (1992)_ (qv), _"The Golden Girls" (1985)_ (qv), _"Nurses" (1991)_ (qv), and _"Empty Nest" (1988)_ (qv).
- Parents' names were Horace and Tess White.
- '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.
- Betty was originally considered for the role of the sexpot, "Blanche," on _"The Golden Girls" (1985)_ (qv). However, Betty had already been the aggressive "Sue Ann Nivens" on _"Mary Tyler Moore" (1970)_ (qv) and 'Rue McClanahan' (qv) had played the introverted "Vivian" on _"Maude" (1972)_ (qv). It was thought best not to have these two actresses reprise similar characters. Therefore, Betty got the part of naive "Rose Nylund" and Rue played the oversexed "Blanche".