Betty White was an American actress and comedian who died in her sleep on December 31, 2021, as a result of natural causes.
At first, sources reported that Betty White died of Covid booster but some hours later, her agent denied the false rumors.
Betty Marion White Ludden was the first woman to create a sitcom (Life with Elizabeth) in the United State which made her to become honorary Mayor of Hollywood in 1955.
People referred to Betty White as the “First Lady of Television”, a title that was used during a 2018 documentary talking about her life story and career.
Early Life and Career of Betty White – American Actress
Betty White was born on January 17, 1922 in Oak Park, a village in Illinois.
She disclosed that Betty was her real name and not a shortened version of Elizabeth as many people know.
The American actress was the only child of Christine Tess and Horace Logan White.
Her father was a lighting company owner while her mother was a homemaker.
Her paternal grandfather was From Denmark and her maternal grandfather was from Greece with her other roots being English and Welsh.
In 1923, When she was very young, her family moved to Alhambra in California and later relocated to Los Angeles at the time of the Great Depression.
Her father manufactured crystal radios and sold them in order to make money since he was not earning a good income then.
He would exchange his built crystal radios for other goods, including dogs on some occasions.
Betty White went to the Beverly Hills Unified School District in Beverly Hills, and Beverly Hills High School and graduated in 1939.
The American actress started her first job as an assistant at a local television station. In the early 1950s, she established her first television series called Life with Elizabeth which she worked with George Tibbles.
“He wrote and I produced,” White explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “I was one of the first women producers in Hollywood.” The show’s premise came from a sketch she had done previously on local television.
White made amazing guest appereances on such shows as the United States Steel Hour and Petticoat Junction. She was also a favorite of talk-show host Jack Paar, who often had her on the Tonight Show, and she made regular appearances on game shows such as Password. She met her third husband, Allen Ludden, on that show in 1961.
White’s career received an enormous boost from her next television series, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Playing Sue Ann Nivens, White showed audiences that behind her sweet smile lay a sharp wit. Her character served as a co-worker to the show’s star, Mary Tyler Moore, in a Minneapolis television newsroom. When she wasn’t pursuing her male colleagues, Sue Ann could be counted on to make funny, yet poignant, quips at Moore’s expense. White won two Emmy Awards for her work on the series.
In sharp contrast to her Sue Ann character, White played the sweet and naive Rose Nylund on the popular 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls, along with co-stars Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty. The show looked at the lives of four, elderly, female friends, and its success proved that there was an audience for programs featuring older characters. The series landed among the top-ranked shows during its seven seasons on the air, and it won numerous awards, including another Emmy Award for White.
After The Golden Girls went off the air in 1992, White appeared in the short-lived spin-off, Golden Palace. She had better luck as a guest star, appearing on numerous television series. She even played herself on The John Larroquette Show in 1996, which earned her another Emmy Award-win. More recently, White enjoyed recurring roles on David E. Kelley’s Boston Legal and on the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. She also had a supporting role in 2009’s romantic comedy The Proposal, starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.
While she worked steadily over the years, White’s career caught fire again in 2010. She appeared in a humorous candy bar ad during that year’s Super Bowl, which quickly became an audience favorite. Thanks largely to a Facebook campaign, that May White became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live. She was initially reluctant to do the show, explaining to Newsweek that it “was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. It was really funny stuff, but it was a challenge.”
Also in 2010, White returned to series television with a role on the sitcom Hot in Cleveland, alongside stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick. She first only signed on for the pilot, but she later joined the cast. “It’s just a terrific show. The chemistry between the girls is so great,” she told Newsweek.
In addition to her work in Hot in Cleveland, she also hosted Betty White’s Off Their Rockers. This hidden camera show, which aired from 2012 into 2017, featured a mature set of merry pranksters who play jokes on younger generations. White picked an Emmy Award nomination for her work on the show in 2012.
That same year, White celebrated her 90th birthday with all-star television special. Ellen Degeneres, Mary Tyler Moore, Carl Reiner, Tina Fey and Ed Asner were among the many celebrities who helped honor White on the program.
In August 2018, PBS aired Betty White: First Lady of Television. The retrospective looked back at her 80-year career in show business, highlighted by her early variety series work, her standout roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, and her resurgence as a sharp-tongued senior in her later years.
Not ready to be relegated to the nostalgia bin just yet, the actress joined an all-star roster of talent for 2019’s Toy Story 4, voicing a tiger teething toy named Bitey White, before being tapped to headline a Lifetime holiday movie the following year.
Betty White died on December 31, 2021, at the age of 99.