With everything she’s achieved, actress Betty White is basically a national treasure. She managed to thrive in the entertainment industry for 8 decades, she is universally loved by everyone, and she is still called “America’s Sweetheart” despite nearing 100 years old. And with all the good things she’s brought into this world, Betty White is one of those people we wish would live forever.
We at Bright Side are huge fans of this Golden Girl, so we decided to celebrate her legacy by rounding up the most interesting facts about her.
At 99 years old, Betty White is absolutely a living legend.
Betty White was born in the year 1922, which means she’s lived through major historical events, including the second World War. Fun fact, she’s also older than “sliced bread,” which wasn’t invented until 1928.
She jumpstarted her career in 1939 by dancing on an experimental TV show while wearing her high school graduation dress.
From there, Betty White conquered American television and became a Hollywood favorite. She can sing, act, and she’s also got a wicked sense of humor, which made her a coveted guest for comedy and game shows.
She was one of TV’s first sitcom stars, and was the first woman to produce a national show.
Betty White was the lead actress in the sitcom Life With Elizabeth, which she also produced.
And this sparkling star continued to bless our screens over the next decades, through shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Betty White Show, The Golden Girls, and Hot in Cleveland among others.
Betty White’s charisma cuts across generations.
Most Hollywood stars fade into obscurity over time, but Betty White is an exception to the rule. In the past 80 years, she constantly appeared in different films and TV projects.
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.
She remained cool and hip, making a guest appearance in a music video and even lending her voice to animated characters in SpongeBob SquarePants and Toy Story 4 (where her character was adorably named Bitey White).
This Golden Girl has multiple awards under her belt.
Betty White is an extremely talented actress and she’s got the “goods” to prove it. She is an 8-time Emmy awardee and is also the first woman to win an Emmy for hosting a game show.
She also has 3 American Comedy Awards, 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy, all tucked up in her trophy collection.
It’s also no surprise that she’s on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was hailed as an inductee to the Television Hall of Fame in 1995.
She’s so great, that other honorary titles were bestowed upon her.
She was hailed as the “Mayor of Hollywood” for being the first female producer of a sitcom. She was also dubbed as “The First Lady of Television” in a documentary, and “The First Lady of Game Shows” too.
Betty White was also recognized as a “Kentucky Colonel,” which is the highest title of honor given by the Governor of Kentucky.
Betty White holds the Guinness World Record for Longest TV Career for a Female Entertainer.
She was awarded the title in 2014 for her 74-year career span back then. Almost a decade later, her grip on the record remains strong. And it looks like no one will snatch that honor from her anytime soon (if ever).
In an interview with Guinness World Records, she admitted to being a fan of 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?!?” — even her reactions are so loveable!
She’s more than an actress — she’s also a published author and an animal activist.
Betty White published several books in the 1980s and 1990s, including the titles, Betty White In Person and Here We Go Again: My Life in Television.
In 2011, she released 2 more — If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t) and Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo.
Speaking of animals, Betty White is a pet enthusiast and has worked with various organizations to advocate for our furry friends’ health.
Betty White’s true love passed away 4 decades ago, and she’s remained single since then.
Before meeting her soulmate, Betty White was married twice. Her first husband was U.S. Air Force pilot Dick Barker, and the second one was Hollywood talent agent Lane Allen. Unfortunately, both marriages didn’t work out.
But in 1961, our sassy girl finally met her match when she was a guest on the game show Password, which was hosted by Allen Ludden. After an interesting courtship, the 2 tied the knot in 1963.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Betty White admitted that her biggest regret was wasting an entire year saying “No” to Ludden’s proposals, because that could have been more time spent together.
Sadly, Ludden passed away in 1981 from cancer and Betty White never remarried. When asked why, she simply said “When you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?”
She also chose not to have kids of her own because she wanted to focus on her career.
Betty White became a stepmother to Ludden’s 3 children from his previous marriage. But in their 18 years together, the couple never had kids of their own.
The actress shared that she consciously chose not to have children because her career was her priority. And being the compulsive person that she knows she is, she felt like she wouldn’t be able to manage being both an actress and a mother.
She is a well-loved icon, and a role model for her co-actors.
When she celebrated her ninetieth birthday in 2012, some of Hollywood’s brightest personalities came to pay tribute to her, like Mary Tyler Moore, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres, Joel McHale, Hugh Jackman, and Ray Romano.
Her fans are now looking forward to her one-hundredth birthday in 2022. One supporter tweeted in jest to provide Betty White with national security and cover her in bubble wrap to keep her safe and healthy.
When asked what advice she would give to fledgling young actors, White said they should do their homework and learn to appreciate their profession since it’s a privilege for them to be in the entertainment industry.