Television, game show, and movie icon Betty White passed away just weeks shy of turning 100, TMZ reports. She was preparing to celebrate her milestone birthday with a one-day movie celebration. It was set to air in theaters on January 17th across the country. Now, Hollywood and fans are mourning the loss of a living legend who was beloved by so many.
Betty White’s Big Break
Though she became known for her dimples, bright smile, and blonde hair, White initially started on the radio. She hosted her own show called The Betty White Show before transitioning to Hollywood on Television. When her male counterpart left the series, she became the sole host. It allowed Betty to both sing and perform. Her next role was on the series Life With Elizabeth where she was in charge both in front and behind-the-scenes. This was a revolutionary feat for a woman in showbusiness. She would earn her first Emmy Award, according to People.
By the early sixties, she landed a gig on the game show Password. It was not just a job but a life-changing time for Betty White. There she would meet host, Allen Ludden who would become her husband. “The secret to our marriage was enthusiasm. When I knew Allen was coming home, I would freshen my makeup and put on a new blouse,” White shared. The two remained married until he passed in 1981 and she never remarried but her career never skipped a beat.
She would soon go on to co-star on The Mary Tyler Moore Show as Sue Ann Nivens. Betty followed that up with a run as a game show host for the series Just Men! This gave her the prestige of being the first woman to win a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host. Yet, one of her best roles was about to come.
The Golden Girls And Beyond
Due to her role as Sue Ann, Betty White seemed to be the perfect fit for the role of Blanche on the new series The Golden Girls. However, it was Rue McLanahan who landed the role, and White was cast as naive Rose Nylund. It became a fan favorite, running for seven seasons and landing two spinoffs. Ultimately, the series has become a cult classic, even landing back in theaters for a 2021 special anniversary.
Betty had success in movies, as well starring in The Proposal alongside Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock and The Lorax. She returned to television on The Bold and the Beautiful. Yet, she made her big sitcom return in Hot In Cleveland as Elsa. It was not something she initially wanted to do but the cast was so brilliant, she could not turn it down. It ran for six seasons. Her biggest passion, aside from acting, was always animals and dedicated so much love and time to them.
She had hoped to make it to 100 and offered her keys to living a long life: “Just looking at the positive side and not dwelling on the downside. Takes up too much energy being negative. Also having a good agent who keeps me busy all the time.” Her death is said to be from natural causes. Betty White, you were one of a kind and will be sorely missed.