On December 31, 2021, iconic film and television actress Betty White passed away from natural causes in her Los Angeles home. White was beloved by generations of fans for her impressive tenure as an actress, earning an impressive 121 credited roles throughout her life as well as countless cameos and guest appearances. Family, fans, and co-stars from around the world have been sharing memories and favorite moments about Betty and to honor her memory we wanted to share her incredible life story and the warm tributes from those who love and miss her.
Betty Marion White (Ludden) was born in Oak Park, Illinois on January 17, 1922, to her parents Horace and Tess White. Betty grew up as an only child and the White family moved to Los Angeles when Betty was just 2-years old. As she entered into the workforce she took a job at her local television station and began her decades-long career in entertainment. Her career took off after she became one of the first female producers in Hollywood with the launch of her show Life with Elizabeth that she starred in and co-created with writer George Tibbles.
Her next big break came from her appearances on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the now-iconic role of Sue Ann Nivens. During her time on the series, White went on to earn 2 Emmys for her supporting role. Betty is extremely well known for her equally iconic role as Rose Nylund in the hit cult classic, The Golden Girls. The series as a whole won many awards, and this allowed Betty to earn another Emmy Award for her collection. After the series ended in 1992 and the short-lived spin-off series The Golden Palace ended, Betty began making more guest appearances and cameos in a variety of projects, with her appearance on The John Larroquette Show earning her another Emmy award. In 2010, White became the oldest host to date for an episode of Saturday Night Live and returned to television in the hit series Hot in Cleveland as Elka Ostrosky. Her scene-stealing character Grandma Annie in Touchstone Pictures’ The Proposal quickly became a favorite role among fans.
She also worked on notable shows, specials, and films such as The Betty White Show, Date with the Angels, Suddenly Susan, Ally McBeal, Mama’s Family, The Love Boat, The Ellen Show, That ‘70s Show, Boston Legal, The Bold and the Beautiful, A Conversation with Betty White, Empty Nest, Maybe This Time, Disney’s Whispers: An Elephant Tale, Bringing Down the House, Malcolm in the Middle, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Higglytown Hereos, The Wild Thornberrys, Community, The Lorax, Forky Asks a Question, Toy Story 4 and many more.
Over the span of her career, Betty White earned several Lifetime Achievement Awards, 6 Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, 3 American Comedy Awards, a Britannia Awards, a Gracie Allen Award, Golden Apple Award, a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Peoples Choice Awards, 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Teen Choice Award, TV Land Award, UCLA Jack Benny Award, 2 Viewers for Quality Television, a Women Film Critics Circle Award, and was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2009.
In her personal time, Betty became a lifelong supporter and active worker with the Los Angeles Zoo and the Morris Animal Foundation. She was passionate about animals, previously sharing: “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.“
Throughout her life, White was married three times her first husband was WWII pilot Dick Barker, with her second being theatrical agent Lane Allen. In 1963, White married the self-proclaimed “love of her life” Allen Ludden who preceded her in death in 1981.
We miss you Betty, thanks for always being a friend.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends, and fans of Betty White 🕯
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