Betty White is a national treasure because of everything she’s accomplished. She thrived in the entertainment industry for eight decades, was immensely beloved, and was dubbed “America’s Sweetheart” even in her senior years. Unfortunately, the Golden Girl, whom we all believed would live forever, died just weeks before her 100th birthday.
We are avid Betty White fans, so we decided to pay tribute to her legacy by looking back at some of her most noteworthy facts and life milestones.
1. Betty White was a living legend.
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Born in 1992, Betty White witnessed significant historical events such as the WW2. She’s also older than “sliced bread,” which didn’t exist before 1928. Betty launched her career in 1939 by performing on an experimental TV broadcast while dressed in her high school graduation gown.
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Betty White continued to conquer American television and become a Hollywood star after that. She possessed the ability to sing, act, and even had a wicked sense of humor, making her a popular guest on comedy and game shows.
2. Betty White was among the earliest sitcom stars, and was the first woman to produce a national show.
She was the main actress and producer of the sitcom Life With Elizabeth.
Over the next few decades, this dazzling diva continued to grace our screens with shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Betty White Show, The Golden Girls, and Hot in Cleveland, and several other shows.
3. Betty White enchanted people of all ages.
Betty White was an exception to the trend, as most Hollywood icons fall into obscurity over time. She has appeared in a variety of films and television shows throughout the last 80 years.
She became an audience favorite after appearing in a chocolate ad in the 2010 Super Bowl. A Facebook campaign was also launched for her to appear on Saturday Night Live, and she became the oldest person to host the show.
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White stayed stylish and hip, even starring in a music video and contributing her voice to animated creatures in SpongeBob SquarePants and Toy Story 4. (where her character was adorably named Bitey White).
4. This Golden Girl had multiple awards under her belt.
Betty White was a gifted actor who possessed the “goods” to back it up. She won the Emmy for 8 times and became the 1st woman that earned an Emmy for hosting a gameshow. Furthermore, she was awarded 3 American Comedy Awards, 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy as well.
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It’s no wonder that she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1995.
5. Other honorary titles were bestowed upon her as well.
For becoming the first female producer of a sitcom, she was praised as “Mayor of Hollywood.” In a documentary, she was also nicknamed “The First Lady of Television” and “The First Lady of Game Shows.”
Betty White was also awarded the title of “Kentucky Colonel,” the highest distinction bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky. Harland David Sanders, who founded the fast food chicken restaurant chain KFC, was also bestowed the title.
6. Betty White holds the Guinness World Record for Longest TV Career for a Female Entertainer.
In 2014, she was honored with the title for her 74-year career. Her hold on the record hasn’t loosened in almost a decade. And it doesn’t appear that anyone will be able to take that honor away from her anytime soon (if ever).
She acknowledged to being a fan of Guinness World Records in an interview with the organization.
“The book has always been fascinating to me. I can’t believe I’m now associated with it. I am amazed at some of the records they keep. The longest fingernails?!?” – and even her reactions are endearing!
7. She was more than an actress — she was also a published author and an animal activist.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Betty White authored several books, including Betty White In Person and Here We Go Again: My Life in Television.
If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t) and Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo, two more books were both released in 2011.
Betty White was also an animal lover who worked with a variety of organizations to promote the health of our furry friends.
8. Betty White’s true love passed away 4 decades ago, and she remained single until her final days.
Betty White had been married twice before meeting her soulmate. Dick Barker, a US Air Force pilot, was her first husband, and Lane Allen, a Hollywood talent recruiter, was her second. Unfortunately, neither marriage worked out.
However, in 1961, when she appeared as a guest on Allen Ludden’s game program Password, our spunky girl finally met her match. In 1963, the two married after an eventful romance.
Betty White said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that her biggest regret was losing a full year by saying “No” to Ludden’s offers, because that time could have been spent together.
Ludden died of cancer in 1981, and Betty White never married again. When asked why, she simply replied, “When you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?”
9. She chose to not have kids of her own because she wanted to focus on her career.
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Ludden’s three children from his previous marriage became Betty White’s stepchildren. The pair, however, never had children during their 18 years together.
The actress revealed that she purposefully chose not to have children in order to focus on her career. Furthermore, as the obsessive personality that she is, she worried that she wouldn’t be able to balance being an actress and a mother.
10. She was a well-loved icon, and a role model for her co-actors.
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Some of Hollywood’s finest personalities gathered to pay respect to her when she turned ninety in 2012, including Mary Tyler Moore, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres, Joel McHale, Hugh Jackman, and Ray Romano.
When questioned for consulting aspiring young performers, White stated they should focus on their study and learn to love their vocation because being in the entertainment industry is a pleasure.
Are you a Betty White lover as well? What do you think her greatest contribution to Hollywood was?