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Betty White the Queen of Game Shows

Updated on June 13, 2012

Remembering Old Hollywood Stars : Betty White

With six Emmy awards and twelve Emmy nominations along with her own star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Betty White’s career that has lasted over six decades is a feat that would be quite spectacular and terribly difficult to replicate. White has not only dedicated her life to her acting career but the star of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls has even found time to do a fair amount of philanthropy. Born on January 17, 1922 in Oak Park, Illinois, Betty White moved to Los Angeles, California at the age of two and was raised in Beverly Hills. White went to Beverly Hills High School, a school boasting future alumni such as Lenny Kravitz, Nicholas Cage and Angelina Jolie.

Betty White

Betty White
Betty White

Unlike most other actresses during that period, Betty White did not begin her professional career on stage or theater. She did some modeling work before being cast as a Phone Girl on an afternoon television show starring Al Jarvis in 1949. Her big break came almost immediately afterwards, landing a main role on Life with Elizabeth, which she co-produced. The instant shot to stardom continued with an Emmy win and after a short break, landed a role co-starring on the sitcom, Date with the Angels, where she played one of the main roles. Not satisfied with television roles, White made her feature film debut as a senator in Advise and Consent, based on a political novel of the same title.

It was during the 1960’s and 1970’s where Betty White started making a name for herself as the queen of game shows. She appeared, either as a participant, host, or guest celebrity in a flurry of game shows, notably What’s My Line?, To Tell The Truth and Password, where she met and married the host, Allen Ludden. In 1973, White was cast as Sue Ann Nivens, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the show’s popular pedigree, coupled with the popularity and talent of White led her to win two Emmys for her role in the show. White survived through the show for five years before it was got canceled and was subsequently offered her own sitcom, The Betty White Show, but underwhelming viewership caused the show to run aground after just one season.

Betty White calls Sarah Palin a "Crazy Bitch"

Despite her failure in The Betty White Show, White landed the most popular role in her career; as Rose Nylund on the Golden Girls. The show’s monstrous popularity catapulted White along with her three Golden Girls co-star to fame, White winning an Emmy on the show’s first year and being nominated each and every year right until 1992. Upon Beatrice Arthur’s release, the three remaining co-stars of Golden Girls started a spin-off titled The Golden Palace but without the chemistry that brought all four actresses together, the series lost its appeal and was canceled after just one season.

Betty White has been considerably active in recent years, often appearing on various talk shows in humorous sketches either portraying herself, one of the characters she used to act or parodying other characters. Her role on court drama Boston Legal has been critically acclaimed and she will be featured alongside present Hollywood stars Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds in the 2009 summer comedy film, The Proposal. White has also been very active with charity work. A true advocate for animal safety and protection, White donated a considerable amount of money to the Los Angeles zoo and works with various animal organizations in Los Angeles, California.

A member of the television Hall of Fame and with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame alongside her late husband, Allen Ludden, Betty White is a truly accomplished star and her experience and talent on the screen will only serve as an inspiration to many younger talents.


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