Betty White

Betty White


1/17/1922, Oak Park, Illinois, United States

Birth Name

Betty Marion White



Also Known As

Betty White Ludden
  • Betty White's Off Their Rockers
  • Betty White's Off Their Rockers
  • Betty White's Off Their Rockers
  • Betty White's Off Their Rockers
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Before "The Golden Girls" She spent two years on Mama's Family playing Ellen Harper. On it, she worked with Vicki Lawrence and Rue McClanahan, until it was cancelled by NBC in 1984. Betty White is a Television Hall Of Famer, and has acted in successful television shows, such…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • She has never had children.

    • Betty White graduated from Horace Mann School in Beverly Hills, California.

    • Betty's Golden Girls co-star, Rue McClanahan, says that she always referred to Betty's eyes as "Little Orphan Annie Eyes." According to McClanahan, this meant that Betty had a very innocent, wide-eyed look about her, specifically when she was playing Rose on the show.

    • Betty is the oldest of the four women who starred on The Golden Girls. She is about a year and a half older than Beatrice Arthur (Dorothy) and Estelle Getty (Sophia), and thirteen years older than Rue McClanahan (Blanche).

    • Betty was stricken with a mastoid infection when she was very young, at which time her parents took turns reading L. Frank Baum's Oz books to her to comfort her and to pass the time. There are thirty-six books in the series and Betty fondly remembers that as one was finished, her father somehow managed to come up with the money --around $1.50-- to bring home the next.

    • As at July 2007, Betty has two dogs, Panda and Kitta, and a cat named Bob Cat.

    • Betty wrote a short story called Pet Love for the book Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul.

    • Betty was originally supposed to play Blanche on Golden Girls, but they thought that Rue would suit the role better.

    • When Betty was on Mama's Family she played Rue's niece. Then on Golden Girls she played Rue's roommate.

    • Betty has contributed millions of dollars to charities and is one of the country's foremost animal activists.

    • Betty White starred in The Golden Girls as Rose Nylund from 1985-1992. She also starred in The Mary Tyler Moore Show for four out of its seven seasons from (1973-1977).

    • Betty ended up getting her role of "Sue Ann Nivens" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show because she and husband were friends with Moore and her then-husband, Grant Tinker.

    • Betty was one of the first actresses to earn the unofficial title "America's Sweetheart".

    • When Betty married Allen Ludden in 1963, she became the stepmother of 4 children.

    • In 1990, Betty was the recipient of the American Comedy Awards' Lifetime Achievement Award.

    • Betty has served on the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association Board since 1974.

    • Betty actually started her career as the "Phone Girl" on Al Jarvis's afternoon TV show in L.A.

    • Betty once hosted her own talk show The Betty White Show in 1954.

    • In 1983, Betty won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host for hosting Just Men!.

    • Betty played Vicki Lawrence's daughter on Mama's Family even though she is 27 years older than Lawrence.

    • Betty not only acted on, but also produced the sitcom Life with Elizabeth.

    • Betty has been acting on television for over 50 years.

    • As of February 2006, Betty has been the winner of six Emmy Awards.

    • In 1952, Betty won her first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on Life with Elizabeth.

    • In 1988, Betty was the recipient of the Women's International Center (WIC) Living Legacy Award.

    • Betty is of German and Greek ancestry.

    • Betty is a vegetarian.

    • Betty is a graduate of Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills, California.

    • Betty has been a strong critic of reality television.

    • Betty and her family moved to Los Angeles when she was only two years old.

    • Betty has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame alongside the star of her late husband Allen Ludden.

    • Betty was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1995.

    • Betty is an avid animal welfare activist and works with a number of organizations; including the Los Angeles Zoo Commission, the Morris Animal Foundation, and Actors & Others for Animals.

    • Per her autobiography, White was named "Betty" at birth not "Elizabeth" because her parents did not want her to be saddled with any of the nicknames and derivatives of Elizabeth -- i.e. Beth, Liza, Ellie, etc. Ironically, shortly after Betty's birth, her mother started calling her Bets, a nickname she developed from the simple name her husband and she had carefully chosen for their daughter.

    • She has been the beloved frequent guest celebrity/panelist on numerous game shows, including every version of "Password" (1961), "Hollywood Squares", "Match Game 73" (1973), "The $10,000 Pyramid" (1973), and countless others.

    • James L. Brooks offered her the role of Helen Hunt's mother in As Good as It Gets (1997). She turned it down because she objected to the treatment of the dog in the film.

    • She is the only Golden Girl ever to appear on 4 different shows as the same character (The Golden Girls, Empty Nest, The Golden Palace, Nurses).

    • Betty filmed a Pilot for CBS called "Stephanie" with Stephanie Faracy in 1981.

    • Betty won American Comedy Awards in 1987 (The Golden Girls); 1990 (Lifetime Achievement in Comedy); 2000 (Ally McBeal).

  • Quotes

    • Betty White: I always wanted to be a zookeeper when I was growing up, and I've wound up a zookeeper! I've been working with the Los Angeles Zoo for 45 years! I'm the luckiest old broad on two feet because my life is divided absolutely in half - half animals and half show business. You can't ask for better than two things you love the most.

    • Betty: (on winning the 2009 Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award) I'm not going to be fit to live with for the next years.

    • Betty: I think that a show that is as successful as The Golden Girls is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. If you don't feel proud to be part of a show that has that kind of track record, then shame on you, because that's a privilege. We got the credit, but we couldn't do it without that writing. The writing was so phenomenal that we were like four points on a compass. Somehow they hit on very serious topics and still managed to keep the audience amused.

    • Betty: (about "The Golden Girls") What most people don't realize is that to this day, 70% of the fan mail we get for that show comes from people under 25 years old. It's amazing, and you know why that is? Because the show is funny. It's truly funny.

    • Betty: Interviewers repeatedly want to know what I would really dream of doing in [show] business, if I could choose anything I wanted. I can't ever seem to get the point across that I am doing it... right now!

    • Betty: Anger tears me up inside... My own... or anyone else's.

    • Betty: I don't find any shows hard. I just enjoy them. Doing drama is, in a sense, easier. In doing comedy, if you don't get that laugh, there's something wrong.

    • Betty: (on her rescued dog, Panda) A pet store first sold this sick little dog. Fortunately, the woman who bought her took her back and the owners said they would take care of it. She went back to check on her the next day and saw the same sick little dog back in the window for sale. She blew the whistle and turned them in to the SPCA. So Panda closed a pet shop all by herself!

    • Betty: (on her love of animals) My husband used to say that television was my hobby and animals were my real life. I just enjoy them more than anything else.