Remembering Betty White


Samuel Birdsell, Copy Editor

Betty White, a national icon of the ’70s all the way to the present day, died at age 99. According to a recent quote from her, she commented, “I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age.” Nicknamed “The Golden Girl,” she had an incredible performance on screen and her legacy is nothing shy of being legendary. She appeared for the first time in movies and sitcoms like I Love Lucy and Life with Elizabeth. In 2010, at age 87, she got an awards-laden resurgence when she starred in a Snickers commercial during the Super Bowl. She was overwhelmingly named the people’s choice to host the Saturday Night Live show. Although these are a few things she has done in her momentous career, her legacy will still be carried on and remembered.

Born on January 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois, Betty White lived with her parents Horace and Tess White. As a kid, she dreamed of being a forest ranger or a writer, but it would be at her high school senior play where she would fall in love with performing and acting. She never went to college; rather she skipped it, and began performing on the radio which prompted her to make the choice to launch an acting career. She would go on to be married three times: first to Dick Barker, a WWII pilot whom she wed in 1945; and then agent Lane Allen in 1947. In 1949, she met with DJ Al Jarvis who helped her to be featured on television which paved the way to her first sitcom called Life with Elizabeth. Although it was a low budget with smaller sets, she went on to earn her first Emmy. In the ’60s, she would go and appear as a celebrity player in the gameshow Password which was hosted by Allen Ludden. Allen was already a widower with 3 kids when he proposed to marry the actress which she accepted that Easter of 1963. White would refer to Ludden as the love of her life. Ludden passed away due to stomach cancer at the age of 63 in 1981.

White was still working in the TV world, starring in many films and shows. She was nominated three times for Screen Actors Guild Award for her incredible performances. Throughout her career, she was nominated for 21 Primetime Emmys and won a total of 5 times. White said that “Having a sense of humor is the key to a long and happy life.” She was always a passionate woman with a lot of love and positivity flowing from her. This has been her motto for many years and took each day one step at a time. She passed away on Dec 31st, 2021, just short of missing her 100th birthday on the 17th of January.