Betty Marion White Ludden (born January 17, 1922) is an American actress and comedian, with the longest television career of any female entertainer, spanning 80 years. Regarded as a pioneer of television, she is one of the first women to have control both in front of and behind the camera and is recognized as the first woman to produce a sitcom (Life with Elizabeth), which contributed to her receiving the honorary title Mayor of Hollywood in 1955.
She is known for her award-winning roles as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1973–77) and Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls (1985–92) – the Writers Guild of America has included both sitcoms in its list of the 101 Best Written TV Series of All Time – and Elka Ostrovsky on Hot in Cleveland (2010–15).
A staple guest of many American game shows such as Password, Match Game, and The $25,000 Pyramid, White has been dubbed the 'First Lady of Game Shows' and became the first woman to receive an Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host in 1983 for the show Just Men! She is also known for her appearances on Boston Legal, Mama's Family, and Saturday Night Live.
In a career that has spanned 80 years, she has received eight Emmy Awards in various categories, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy Award. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is a Television Hall of Fame inductee (class of 1995), and a Disney Legend (class of 2009).
White at the Time 100 gala in 2010
Betty Marion White
January 17, 1922
Oak Park, Illinois, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California|
|Other names||Betty White Ludden|
|Education||Horace Mann School|
|Alma mater||Beverly Hills High School|
|Home town||Beverly Hills, California, U.S.|
|Title||4th Mayor of Hollywood (Honorary)|
Betty Marion White was born in Oak Park, Illinois, on January 17, 1922. She has stated that Betty is her legal name and not a shortened version of Elizabeth. She is the only child of Christine Tess (née Cachikis; 1899–1985), a homemaker, and Horace Logan White (1899–1963), a lighting company executive. Her paternal grandfather was Danish and her maternal grandfather was Greek, with her other roots being English and Welsh (both of her grandmothers were Canadian).
White's family moved to Alhambra, California and later to Los Angeles, during the Great Depression. To make extra money, her father would build radios and sell them wherever he could. Since it was the height of the Depression, and hardly anyone had a sizable income, he would trade the radios in exchange for other goods, including dogs on some occasions.
She attended Horace Mann School Beverly Hills and Beverly Hills High School, famously used as a filming location for popular titles such as Clueless and It's a Wonderful Life, where she was a member of the 1939 graduating class. Her interest in wildlife was sparked by family vacations to the High Sierras. She aspired to become a forest ranger, but was unable to accomplish this dream because women were not allowed to serve as rangers. Instead, White pursued an interest in writing. She wrote and played the lead in a graduation play at Horace Mann School and discovered her interest in performing. Inspired by her idols, Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, she decided to pursue a career as an actress.
White began her television career in 1939, three months after high school graduation, when she and a classmate sang songs from The Merry Widow on an experimental Los Angeles channel. White found work modeling, and her first professional acting job was at the Bliss Hayden Little Theatre. When World War II broke out, she put her career on hold and volunteered for the American Women's Voluntary Services. Her assignment included the transportation of military supplies through California. She also participated in events for troops before they were deployed overseas.
After the war, White made rounds to movie studios looking for work, but was always turned down because she was "unphotogenic". So then she started to look for radio jobs where being photogenic did not matter. Her first radio jobs included reading commercials and playing bit parts, and sometimes even doing crowd noises. She made about five dollars a show. She would do just about anything, like singing on a show for no money, or making an appearance on the local game show. She appeared on shows such as Blondie, The Great Gildersleeve, and This is Your FBI. She then got her own radio show, called The Betty White Show. In 1949, she began appearing as co-host with Al Jarvis on his daily live television variety show Hollywood on Television, originally called Al Jarvis' Make-Believe Ballroom on KFWB radio and on KLAC-TV in Los Angeles.
White began hosting the show by herself in 1952 after Jarvis' departure, spanning five and a half hours of live ad-lib television six days per week over a contiguous four-year span altogether. In all of her various variety series over the years, White would sing at least a couple of songs during each broadcast. In 1951, she was nominated for her first Emmy Award as "Best Actress" on television, competing with such legendary stars as Judith Anderson, Helen Hayes, and Imogene Coca (the award went to Gertrude Berg). This was the very first award and category in the new Emmy history designated for women on television.
In 1952, the same year that she began hosting Hollywood on Television, White co-founded Bandy Productions with writer George Tibbles and Don Fedderson, a producer. The trio worked to create new shows using existing characters from sketches shown on Hollywood on Television. White, Fedderson, and Tibbles created the television comedy Life with Elizabeth, with White portraying the title role. The show was originally a live production on KLAC-TV in 1951, and won White a Regional Los Angeles Emmy in 1952.
Life with Elizabeth was nationally syndicated from 1952 to 1955, allowing White to become one of the few women in television with full creative control in front of and behind the camera. The show was unusual for a sitcom in the 1950s because it was co-produced and owned by a twenty-eight-year-old woman who still lived with her parents. White said they didn't worry about relevance in those days, and that usually the incidents were based on real life situations that happened to her, the actor who played Alvin, and the writer.
White also performed in commercials seen on live television in Los Angeles, including a rendition of the "Dr. Ross Dog Food" advertisement at KTLA during the 1950s. And guest starred on "The Millionaire" in the episode "The Virginia Lennart Story", as the owner of a small town diner that received an anonymous gift of $1,000,000, in 1956.
In 1954, she hosted and produced her own daily talk/variety show, The Betty White Show, on NBC (her second show to feature that title). Like her sitcom, she had creative control over the series, and was able to hire a female director. The show faced criticism for the inclusion of Arthur Duncan, an African-American performer, as a regular cast member. The criticism followed when NBC expanded the show nationally. Local southern stations threatened to boycott unless Duncan was removed from the series. In response, White said "I'm sorry. Live with it" and gave Duncan more airtime. Initially a ratings success, the show repeatedly changed time slots and suffered lower viewership. By the end of the year, NBC quietly cancelled the series.
Following the end of Life with Elizabeth, she appeared as Vicki Angel on the ABC sitcom Date with the Angels from 1957 to 1958. The show, loosely based on the Elmer Rice play Dream Girl, likewise intended to focus around Vicki's daydreaming tendencies. The sponsor was not pleased with the fantasy elements, and pressured to have them eliminated. "I can honestly say that was the only time I have ever wanted to get out of a show," White later said". The sitcom was a critical and ratings disaster, but ABC wouldn't allow White out of her contractual agreement and required her to fill the remaining thirteen weeks in their deal. Instead of a retooled version of the sitcom, White rebooted her old talk/variety show, The Betty White Show, which aired until her contract was fulfilled. "
Out of work, White turned her attention to network game shows. She made many appearances on the hit Password show as a celebrity guest from 1961 through 1975. She married the show's host, Allen Ludden, in 1963. She subsequently appeared on the show's three updated versions Password Plus, Super Password, and Million Dollar Password, having been on versions of the game with five different hosts (Allen Ludden, Bill Cullen, Tom Kennedy, Bert Convy, and Regis Philbin). White made frequent game show appearances on What's My Line? (starting in 1955), To Tell the Truth (in 1961, 1990, and 2015), I've Got a Secret (in 1972–73), Match Game (1973–1982), and Pyramid (starting in 1982). Both Password and Pyramid were created by White's friend, Bob Stewart.
She made her feature film debut as Kansas Senator Elizabeth Ames Adams in the 1962 drama, Advise & Consent. Although her performance was well received, it would be her only big-screen appearance for decades.
NBC offered her an anchor job on their flagship morning show Today. She turned the offer down because she didn't want to move to New York (where Today is filmed) permanently. The job eventually went to Barbara Walters. Through the 1950s and 1960s, White began a nineteen-year run as hostess and commentator on the annual Tournament of Roses Parade broadcast on NBC (often co-hosting with Lorne Greene), and appeared on a number of late night talk shows, including Jack Paar's Tonight Show, and other daytime game shows.
In 1973, White made several appearances in the fourth season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, as the "man-hungry" Sue Ann Nivens. The role garnered White her second and third Emmy Awards. Although considering the role a highlight of her career, she has described the character's image as "icky sweet," feeling she was the very definition of feminine passivity, owing to the fact she always satirized her own persona onscreen in just such a way.
A running gag was that Sue Ann's hard-edged private personality was the complete opposite of how she presented herself on her show. "We need somebody who can play sickeningly sweet, like Betty White," Moore herself suggested at a production meeting, which resulted in casting White herself. White won two Emmy Awards back-to-back for her role in the hugely popular series.
In 1975, NBC replaced her as hostess and commentator on the Tournament of Roses Parade broadcast, feeling she was too identified with rival network CBS due to her newfound success on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. White admitted to People magazine it was difficult "watching someone else do my parade", although she soon would start a ten-year run as hostess of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for CBS.
Following the end of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1977, White got her own sitcom on CBS, her fourth show entitled The Betty White Show (the first having been broadcast a quarter century earlier), during the 1977–78 season, in which she co-starred with John Hillerman and former Mary Tyler Moore co-star Georgia Engel. It was canceled after one season.
White appeared several times on The Carol Burnett Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson appearing in many sketches, and began guest-starring in a number of television movies and television miniseries, including With This Ring, The Best Place to Be, Before and After, and The Gossip Columnist.
In 1983, she became the first woman to win a Daytime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Game Show Host, for the NBC entry Just Men!. Due to the amount of work she has done on them, she has been deemed the "First Lady of Game Shows".
From 1983-1984, she had a recurring role playing Ellen Harper Jackson on the series Mama's Family, along with future Golden Girls co-star Rue McClanahan. White had originated this character in a series of sketches on The Carol Burnett Show in the 1970s. When Mama's Family was picked up in syndication after being canceled by NBC in 1984, White left the show (with the exception of one final appearance in the show's syndicated version in 1986).
In 1985, White scored her second signature role and the biggest hit of her career as the St. Olaf, Minnesota-native Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls. The series chronicled the lives of four widowed or divorced women in their "golden years" who shared a home in Miami. The Golden Girls, which also starred Beatrice Arthur, Estelle Getty, and Rue McClanahan, was immensely successful and ran from 1985 through 1992. White won one Emmy Award, for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series, for the first season of The Golden Girls and was nominated in that category every year of the show's run (the only cast member to receive that distinction – Getty was also nominated every year, but in the supporting actress category).
White was originally offered the role of Blanche in The Golden Girls, and Rue McClanahan was offered the role of Rose (the two characters being similar to roles they had played in Mary Tyler Moore and Maude, respectively). Jay Sandrich, the director of the pilot, suggested that since they had played similar roles in the past, they should switch roles, Rue McClanahan later said in a documentary on the series. White originally had doubts about her ability to play Rose, until the show's creator took her aside and told her not to play Rose as stupid but as someone "terminally naive, a person who always believed the first explanation of something."
The show ended in 1992 after Arthur announced her decision to depart the series. White, McClanahan, and Getty reprised their roles Rose, Blanche, and Sophia in the spin-off The Golden Palace. The series was short-lived, lasting only one season. In addition, White reprised her Rose Nylund character in guest appearances on the NBC shows Empty Nest and Nurses, both set in Miami.
After The Golden Palace ended, White guest-starred on a number of television programs including Suddenly Susan, The Practice, and Yes, Dear where she received Emmy nominations for her individual appearances. She won an Emmy in 1996 for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, appearing as herself on an episode of The John Larroquette Show. In that episode, titled "Here We Go Again", a spoof on Sunset Boulevard, a diva-like White convinces Larroquette to help write her memoirs. At one point Golden Girls co-stars McClanahan and Getty appear as themselves. Larroquette is forced to dress in drag as Beatrice Arthur, when all four appear in public as the "original" cast members. White comically envisions her Rose as the central character with the others as mere supporting players.
In December 2006, White joined the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful in the role of Ann Douglas (where she would make 22 appearances), the long-lost mother of the show's matriarch, Stephanie Forrester, played by Susan Flannery. She also began a recurring role in ABC's Boston Legal from 2005 to 2008 as the calculating, blackmailing gossip-monger Catherine Piper, a role she originally played as a guest star on The Practice in 2004.
White appeared several times on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson appearing in many sketches and returned to Password in its latest incarnation, Million Dollar Password, on June 12, 2008, (episode #3), participating in the Million Dollar challenge at the end of the show. On May 19, 2008, she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, taking part in the host's Mary Tyler Moore Show reunion special alongside every surviving cast member of the series. Beginning in 2007, White was featured in television commercials for PetMeds, highlighting her interest in animal rights and welfare.
In 2009, the candy company Mars, Incorporated launched a global campaign for their Snickers bar; the campaign's slogan was: "You're not you when you're hungry". White appeared, alongside Abe Vigoda, in the company's advertisement for the candy during the 2010 Super Bowl XLIV. The advertisement became very popular, and won the top spot on the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter.
Following the success of the Snickers advertisement, a grassroots campaign on Facebook called "Betty White to Host SNL (Please)" began in January 2010. The group was approaching 500,000 members when NBC confirmed on March 11, 2010 that White would in fact host Saturday Night Live on May 8. The appearance made her, at age 88, the oldest person to host the show, beating Miskel Spillman, the winner of SNL's "Anybody Can Host" contest, who was 80 when she hosted in 1977. In her opening monologue, White thanked Facebook and joked that she "didn't know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time." The appearance earned her a 2010 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, her seventh Emmy win overall.
In June 2010, White took on the role of Elka Ostrovsky the house caretaker on TV Land's original sitcom Hot in Cleveland along with Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick. Hot in Cleveland was TV Land's first attempt at a first-run scripted comedy (the channel has rerun other sitcoms since its debut). White was only meant to appear in the pilot of the show but was asked to stay on for the entire series. In 2011, she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Elka, but lost to Julie Bowen for Modern Family. The series ran for six seasons, a total of 128 episodes, with the hour-long final episode airing on June 3, 2015.
White also starred in the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of The Lost Valentine on January 30, 2011 (this presentation garnered the highest rating for a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation in the last four years and according to the Nielsen Media Research TV rating service won first place in the prime time slot for that date.) and from 2012 to 2014, White hosted and executive produced Betty White's Off Their Rockers, in which senior citizens play practical jokes on the younger generation. For this show, she received three Emmy nominations.
A Betty White calendar for 2011 was published in late 2010. The calendar features photos from White's career and with various animals. She also launched her own clothing line on July 22, 2010, which features shirts with her face on them. All proceeds go to various animal charities she supports.
White's success continued in 2012 with her first Grammy Award for a spoken word recording for her bestseller If You Ask Me. She also won the UCLA Jack Benny Award for Comedy, recognizing her significant contribution to comedy in television, and was roasted at the New York Friars' Club.
A television special, Betty White's 90th Birthday Party, aired on NBC a day before her birthday on January 16, 2012. The show featured appearances of many stars with whom White has worked over the years, as well as a message from sitting president Barack Obama. In January 2013, NBC once again celebrated Betty White's birthday with a TV special featuring celebrity friends, including former president Bill Clinton; the special aired on February 5.
On August 18, 2018, White's career was celebrated in a PBS documentary called Betty White: First Lady of Television. The documentary was filmed over a period of ten years, and featured archived footage and interviews from colleagues and friends.
On June 14, 1963, White married television host and personality Allen Ludden, whom she had met on his game show Password as a celebrity guest in 1961, and her legal name was changed to Betty White Ludden. He proposed to White at least twice before she accepted. The couple appeared together in an episode of The Odd Couple featuring Felix's and Oscar's appearance on Password. Ludden appeared as a guest panelist on Match Game, with White sitting in the audience. (She was prompted to criticize one of Ludden's wrong answers on camera during an episode of Match Game '74.) The two appeared together on the Match Game panel in 1974, 1975 and 1980.
Allen Ludden died from stomach cancer on June 9, 1981, in Los Angeles. While they had no children together, she is stepmother to his three children from his first marriage to Margaret McGloin Ludden, who died of cancer in 1961. White has not remarried since Ludden's death. In an interview with Larry King, when asked whether she would remarry, she replied by saying "Once you've had the best, who needs the rest?"
White had a strained relationship with her Golden Girls co-star Bea Arthur on and off the set of their television show, commenting that Arthur "was not that fond of me" and that "she found me a pain in the neck sometimes. It was my positive attitude — and that made Bea mad sometimes. Sometimes if I was happy, she'd be furious." After Arthur's death in 2009, White said, "I knew it would hurt, I just didn't know it would hurt this much." Despite their differences, The Golden Girls was a positive experience for both actresses. Bea Arthur would often insist on waiting to leave for lunch until all four (White, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty, and herself) had finished their work, and could leave together.
White first met Ball while working on the short-lived sitcom Date With the Angels, which was filmed on the Desilu Studios lot where I Love Lucy was also filmed. The two quickly struck up a friendship over their accomplishments in taking on the male dominated television business of the '50s. They relied on one another through divorce, illness, personal loss, and even competed against one another on various game shows.
In a 2011 interview, White said that she always knew her close friend Liberace was gay and that she sometimes accompanied him to premieres. A supporter of gay rights, White said that "If a couple has been together all that time – and there are gay relationships that are more solid than some heterosexual ones – I think it's fine if they want to get married. I don't know how people can get so anti-something. Mind your own business, take care of your affairs, and don't worry about other people so much".
Mary Tyler Moore and her husband Grant Tinker were close friends with White and Ludden. When Valerie Harper left The Mary Tyler Moore Show, producers felt the show needed another female character and created Sue Ann Nivens in the process. Nivens was described as an "icky sweet Betty White type", but they went against asking White to audition. In a 2010 Archive of American Television interview, Moore explained that producers, aware of Moore and White's friendship, were initially hesitant to audition White for the role, the fear being that if she hadn't been right, that it would create awkwardness between the two.
In her 2011 book If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't), White writes about her friendship with famed author John Steinbeck. White's husband Allen Ludden attended the same school as Steinbeck's wife Elaine. The couples became close friends, and Steinbeck gave an early draft of his Nobel Prize acceptance speech to Ludden for his birthday.
White is a pet enthusiast and an animal health advocate who works with animal organizations, including the Los Angeles Zoo Commission, the Morris Animal Foundation, African Wildlife Foundation, and Actors & Others for Animals. Her interest in animal rights and welfare began in the early 1970s while she was both producing and hosting the syndicated series, The Pet Set, which spotlighted celebrities and their pets.
As of 2009, White is the president emerita of the Morris Animal Foundation, where she has served as a trustee of the organization since 1971. She has been a member of the board of directors of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association since 1974. Additionally, White served the association as a Zoo Commissioner for eight years.
According to the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Garden's ZooScape Member Newsletter, White hosted "History on Film" from 2000 to 2002. White donated nearly $100,000 to the zoo in the month of April 2008 alone.
In September 2011, she teamed up with English singer Luciana to produce a remix of her song "I'm Still Hot". The song was released digitally on September 22 and the video later premiered on October 6. It was made for a campaign for a life settlement program, The Lifeline. White served as a judge alongside Whoopi Goldberg and Wendy Diamond for the American Humane Association's Hero Dog Awards airing on The Hallmark Channel on November 8, 2011.
White has won five Primetime Emmy Awards, two Daytime Emmy Awards (including the 2015 Daytime Emmy for Lifetime Achievement), and received a Regional (LA) Emmy in 1952. White is the only woman to have received an Emmy in all performing comedic categories, and also holds the record for longest span between Emmy nominations for performances—her first was in 1951 and her most recent was in 2011, a span of 60 years. She has also won three American Comedy Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990), and two Viewers for Quality Television Awards. She was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1995 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6747 Hollywood Boulevard alongside the star of her late husband Allen Ludden.
White was the recipient of the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters Golden Ike Award and the Genii Award from the American Women in Radio and Television in 1976. The American Comedy Awards awarded her the award for Funniest Female in 1987 as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990.
The American Veterinary Medical Association awarded White with its Humane Award in 1987 for her charitable work with animals. The City of Los Angeles further honored her for her philanthropic work with animals in 2006 with a bronze plaque near the Gorilla Exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo. The City of Los Angeles named her "Ambassador to the Animals" at the dedication ceremony.
In September 2009, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) announced plans to honor White with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award at the 16th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Actress Sandra Bullock presented White with the award on January 23, 2010, at the ceremony, which took place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. She is a Kentucky Colonel. In 2009, White and her now-deceased Golden Girls cast mates Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty were awarded Disney Legend awards. Betty was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in December 2010. In 2010, she was chosen as the Associated Press's Entertainer of the Year.
On November 9, 2010, the USDA Forest Service, along with Smokey Bear, made Betty White an honorary forest ranger, fulfilling her lifelong dream.  White said in previous interviews that she wanted to be a forest ranger as a little girl but that women were not allowed to do that then. When White received the honor, more than one-third of Forest Service employees were women.
In January 2011, White received a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for her role as Elka Ostrovsky in Hot in Cleveland. The show itself was also nominated for an award as Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, but lost to the cast of Modern Family. She won the same award again in 2012, and has received a third nomination.
In October 2011, White was awarded an honorary degree and white doctors coat by Washington State University at the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association's centennial gala in Yakima, Washington.
A 2011 poll conducted by Reuters and Ipsos revealed that White was considered the most popular and most trusted celebrity among Americans, beating the likes of Denzel Washington, Sandra Bullock, and Tom Hanks.
|1945||Time to Kill||Lou's Girl||Short film|||
|1962||Advise & Consent||Senator Bessie Adams|||
|1980||The Hollywood Knights||Herself|
|1986||Big City Comedy|
|1996||The Story of Santa Claus||Gretchen Claus||Voice|||
|1998||Hard Rain||Doreen Sears|||
|Dennis the Menace Strikes Again||Martha Wilson|||
|1999||Lake Placid||Mrs. Delores Bickerman|||
|The Story of Us||Lillian Jordan|||
|2000||Whispers: An Elephant's Tale||Round||Voice|||
|Tom Sawyer||Aunt Polly|||
|2001||The Retrievers||Mrs. Krisper|||
|The Wild Thornberrys: The Origin of Donnie||Grandma Sophie||Voice|||
|2003||Bringing Down the House||Mrs. Kline|||
|Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt||Cameo|||
|2005||The Third Wish||Lettie|||
|2007||Your Mommy Kills Animals||Documentary|||
|In Search of Puppy Love|
|2009||Love N' Dancing||Irene|||
|The Proposal||Grandma Annie|||
|Part Two: The Warm Mission||Betty||Short film|
|2010||You Again||Grandma Bunny|||
|Prep & Landing: Operation: Secret Santa||Mrs. Claus||Voice|||
|2011||Betty White: Champion for Animals||Herself||Documentary|||
|2012||The Lorax||Grammy Norma||Voice|||
|2013||Letters to Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy||Narrator||Documentary|||
|Betty White Goes Wild||Herself|||
|2019||Toy Story 4||Unknown||Voice|||
|1939||Unknown||Unknown||White and a former high school classmate (this was shortly after graduation) sang songs from The Merry Widow on an experimental Los Angeles channel in 1939.|
|1949–50||Hollywood on Television||Herself|
|1952||The Eddie Albert Show|
|1953–55||Life with Elizabeth||Elizabeth||Lead role, 65 episodes|
|1954||The Betty White Show||Herself||From February 8, 1954 to December 31, 1954|
|1955–56||What's My Line?||8 episodes|
|1956||The Millionaire||Virginia Lennart||Episode: "Millionaire Virginia Lennart"|
|1957–58||Date with the Angels||Vickie Angel||Lead role, 33 episodes|
|1958||The Betty White Show||Herself||Lead role, 14 episodes|
|1958–62||The Jack Paar Show||Recurring role, 36 episodes|
|1958–2001, 2016–present||To Tell the Truth||Appearances on CBS (Collyer), NBC (Moore), and ABC (Anderson) versions. Main panelist (2016)|
|1961–2008||(Super) (Million Dollar) Password (All Stars), (Plus)||Appeared on all versions of the show.|
|1962||The United States Steel Hour||Episode: "Scene of the Crime"|
|1963–82, 1991||Match Game||Herself||Recurring role, Appeared on the first 3 versions of the show.|
|1963–75||You Don't Say!||Recurring role, 10 episodes|
|1968||That's Life||Episode: "Buying a House"|
|1969||Petticoat Junction||Adelle Colby||Episode: "The Cannonball Bookmobile"|
|1971||The Pet Set||Herself||Recurring role, 31 episodes|
|1972||O'Hara, U.S. Treasury||Episode: "Operation: Lady Luck"|
|The Odd Couple||Episode: "Password"|
|1973–77||The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Sue Ann Nivens||Main cast, 46 episodes|
|1975||Lucas Tanner||Lydia Merrick||Episode: "The Noise of a Quiet Weekend"|
|Ellery Queen||Louise Demery||Episode: "The Adventure of Miss Aggie's Farewell Performance"|
|The Carol Burnett Show||Various||Recurring role, 3 episodes|
|1976–77||The Sonny and Cher Show||Herself||Guest role, 2 episodes|
|1976–79||Liar's Club Game Show||Recurring role, 48 episodes|
|1977–78||The Betty White Show||Joyce Whitman||Lead role, 14 episodes|
|1978||The Hanna-Barbera Happy Hour||Voice Teacher||1 episode|
|With This Ring||Evelyn Harris||TV film|
|1979||The Best Place to Be||Sally Cantrell|
|Before and After||Anita|
|1980||The Gossip Columnist||Herself|
|The Love Boat||Various||Guest role, 5 episodes|
|1981||Best of the West||Episode: "Mail Order Bride"|
|The $25,000 Pyramid||Herself||Recurring role, 85 episodes|
|Love, Sidney||Charlotte||Episode: "Charlotte's Web"|
|1983||Just Men!||Herself||Lead role, 65 episodes|
|Fame||Catherine||Episode: "Sunshine Again"|
|1983–1984, 1986||Mama's Family||Ellen Harper Jackson||Recurring role, 15 episodes|
|1984||Hotel||Wilma Klein||Episode: "Outsiders"|
|Trivia Trap||Herself||Celebrity Week|
|1985||St. Elsewhere||Capt. Gloria Neal||2 episodes|
|Who's the Boss?||Bobby Barnes|
|1985–92||The Golden Girls||Rose Nylund||Main role, 180 episodes|
|1987||Alf Loves a Mystery||Aunt Harriet||TV film|
|1988||Santa Barbara||Cameo||Guest role, 3 episodes|
|Another World||Brenda Barlowe||Special Guest Star|
|1989–92||Empty Nest||Rose Nylund||Guest role, 3 episodes|
|1990||Carol & Company||Trisha Durant||Episode: "Trisha Springs Eternal"|
|1991||Chance of a Lifetime||Evelyn Eglin||TV film|
|Nurses||Rose Nylund||Episode: "Begone with the Wind"|
|1992–93||The Golden Palace||Lead role, 24 episodes|
|1993||Bob||Sylvia Schmidt||Main cast, 8 episodes|
|1994||Diagnosis Murder||Dora Sloan||Episode: "Death by Extermination"|
|1995||The Naked Truth||Herself||2 episodes|
|Maybe This Time||Shirley Wallace||Main role, 18 episodes|
|1996||A Weekend in the Country||Martha||TV film|
|Suddenly Susan||Midge Haber||Episode: "Golden Girl Friday"|
|1998||The Lionhearts||Dorothy (voice)||5 episodes|
|L.A. Doctors||Mrs. Brooks||Episode: "Leap of Faith"|
|Noddy||Annabelle (Mrs. Santa Claus)||Special: Anything Can Happen At Christmas|
|1999||Hercules||Hestia (voice)||Episode: "Hercules and the Tiff on Olympus"|
|Ally McBeal||Dr. Shirley Flott||Episode: "Seeing Green"|
|Ladies Man||Mitzi Stiles||Main role, 30 episodes|
|King of the Hill||Dorothy / Ellen / Delia (voice)||Guest role, 3 episodes|
|2000||The Wild Thornberrys||Sophie Hunter (voice)||3 episodes|
|Intimate Portrait: Betty White||Herself|
|The Simpsons||Episode: "Missionary: Impossible"|
|2001||The Ellen Show||Connie Gibson||Episode: "Missing the Bus"|
|2002||Teacher's Pet||Granny (voice)||Episode: "The Turkey That Came for Dinner"|
|Yes, Dear||Sylvia||Episode: "Kim's New Nanny"|
|Providence||Julianna||Episode: "The Heart of the Matter"|
|2002–03||That '70s Show||Bea Sigurdson||Recurring role, 4 episodes|
|2003||The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy||Mrs. Doolin (voice)||Episode: "Who Killed Who?"|
|Gary the Rat||Gary's Mother (voice)||Episode: "This Is Not a Pipe"|
|I'm with Her||Herself||Episode: "Meet the Parent"|
|Stealing Christmas||Emily Sutton||TV film|
|2003–04||Everwood||Carol Roberts||2 episodes|
|2004||The Practice||Catherine Piper||3 episodes|
|My Wife and Kids||Mrs. June Hopkins||Episode: "The Maid"|
|Malcolm in the Middle||Sylvia||Episode: "Victor's Other Family"|
|2004–05||Complete Savages||Mrs. Riley||2 episodes|
|2005||Joey||Margaret Bly||Episode: "Joey and the House"|
|Annie's Point||Annie Eason||TV film|
|2005–08||Boston Legal||Catherine Piper||Main role, 16 episodes|
|2006||My Name Is Earl||Mrs. Weezmer||Episode: "The Witch Lady"|
|Family Guy||Herself||Episode: "Peterotica"|
|2006–09||The Bold and the Beautiful||Ann Douglas||Recurring role, 23 episodes|
|2007||Higglytown Heroes||Grandma (voice)||Episode: Calling All Heroes|
|Ugly Betty||Herself||Episode: "Bananas for Betty"|
|The Simpsons||Episode: "Homerazzi"|
|2009||30 Rock||Episode: "Stone Mountain"|
|2009–10||Glenn Martin DDS||Grandma Shelia Martin (voice)||Guest role, 2 episodes|
|2010||The Middle||Mrs. Nethercott||Episode: "Average Rules"|
|Saturday Night Live||Herself||Episode: "Betty White/Jay-Z"|
|Community||Professor June Bauer||Episodes: Anthropology 101 & "The Psychology of Letting Go"|
|2010–15||Hot in Cleveland||Elka Ostrovsky||Main role, 128 episodes|
|2010–13||Pound Puppies||Agatha McLeish (voice)||Main cast, 13 episodes|
|2011||The Lost Valentine||Caroline Thomas||TV film|
|2012–14||Betty White's Off Their Rockers||Herself||Host|
|2012||The Client List||Ruth Hudson||Episode: "Past Is Prologue"|
|2013||Save Me||God||Episode: "Holier Than Thou"|
|Mickey Mouse||Old Lady (voice)||Episode: "New York Weenie"|
|2014||The Soul Man||Elka Ostrovsky||Episode: "All the Way Live"|
|2015||Saturday Night Live||Grandmother||Episode: "Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special"|
|2015–present||Fireside Chat with Esther||Rose / Lady Bette||3 episodes|
|2015–17||Bones||Dr. Beth Mayer||2 episodes|
|2015–present||Betty White's Smartest Animals in America||Herself||Host|
|2016||SpongeBob SquarePants||Beatrice (voice)||Episode: "Mall Girl Pearl"|
|Crowded||Sandy||Episode: "The Fixer"|
|2017||Young & Hungry||Ms. Bernice Wilson||2 episodes|
|If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast||Herself||TV film|
|2018||Betty White: First Lady of Television||Documentary|
White has published several books during her career. In August 2010, she entered a deal with G.P. Putnam's Sons to produce two more books, the first of which, If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't), was released in 2011. In February 2012, White received her first Grammy Award ("Best Spoken Word Recording") for the audio recording of the book.
|1983||Betty White's Pet-Love: How Pets Take Care of Us|
|1987||Betty White In Person|
|1991||The Leading Lady: Dinah's Story|
|1995||Here We Go Again: My Life In Television|
|2008||Together: A Novel of shared vision|
|2011||If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)|
|2011||Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo|
Popular actress and comedian Betty White turns 95 on Tuesday.
According to an oral history interview White conducted in 1994 for the Archive of American Television, she broke into the business three months after graduating from Beverly Hills High School in 1938 at an early age, as part of an experimental television show.
The 42nd Daytime Emmy Awards, presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), "recognizes outstanding achievement in all fields of daytime television production and are presented to individuals and programs broadcast from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the 2014 calendar year". The ceremony took place on April 26, 2015, at the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, 5:00 p.m. PST / 8:00 p.m. EST. The ceremony, televised in the United States by Pop was executive produced by Michael Levitt, Gary Tellalian and Mike Rothman. Talk show host, actress and producer Tyra Banks hosted the show for the first time.The drama pre-nominees were announced on February 4, 2015, and the standard nominations were announced on March 31, 2015, during an episode of The Talk. In related events, the 42nd Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony was held at the Universal Hilton in Los Angeles on April 24, 2015 with Jeopardy! icon Alex Trebek and The Brady Bunch actress Florence Henderson serving as the ceremony's hosts.Variety reported that the return of the Daytime Emmys on Television was due that the Academy hoped to rebound in viewership after the previous year's internet-only ceremony, which also resulted in a high-volume of no-shows among the nominees. The awards ceremony was also moved up from its normal month in June to April to improve participation since many shows were still in production during that time. The Academy also choose to hold the ceremonies at the Warner Bros. Studios instead of a hotel ballroom like in previous years so participants "would feel [more] comfortable". They specifically picked Stage 16, where Casablanca and other famous films were produced. It was later announced that the Lifetime Achievement Award would be presented to Betty White.Allen Ludden
Allen Ludden (born Allen Packard Ellsworth, October 5, 1917 – June 9, 1981) was an American television personality, actor, emcee and game show host, perhaps best known for having hosted various incarnations of the game show Password between 1961 and 1980.Bananas for Betty
"Bananas for Betty" is the tenth episode in the second season, and the 33rd episode overall, of the American dramedy series Ugly Betty, which aired on December 6, 2007. The episode was written by Tracy Poust and Jon Kinnally and directed by Michael Spiller.Betty White's Off Their Rockers
Betty White's Off Their Rockers is an American comedy television series launched in 2012, that broadcast on NBC for its first two seasons and Lifetime for its third. The series is hosted by Betty White, and is based on the Belgian television format Benidorm Bastards.Comedy album
A comedy album is an audio recording of comedic material from a comedian or group of comedians, usually performed either live or in a studio. Comedy albums may feature skits, humorous songs, and/or live recording of stand-up comedy performances, but the most common type of comedy albums are stand up, and are often made in conjunction with a DVD with recorded video of a particular comedy show.
Some of the earliest albums recorded for popular commercial distribution were comedy albums. For example, various collections of humorous short stories recited by Cal Stewart were released by Edison Records as early as 1898.A number of record labels specialize in the comedy genre, including AST Records, Comedy Central Records, Partee Records, Stand Up! Records, and Stereolaffs.
Comedy albums have won the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album on several occasions, including America Again: Re-becoming The Greatness We Never Weren't, by Stephen Colbert (2014) and If You Ask Me (and of Course You Won't) by Betty White (2012). The very first album to win this honor was The Best of the Stan Freberg Shows by Stan Freberg (1959), a variety album including comedy bits.
There is also a podcast that covers the history and influence of comedy albums, primarily on vinyl, entitled Comedy on Vinyl, which also premiered a 50-year-old lost Bob Newhart track in 2015.Hot in Cleveland
Hot in Cleveland is an American sitcom on TV Land starring Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, and Betty White.
The series, which was TV Land's first original scripted series, premiered on June 16, 2010, and was TV Land's highest rated telecast in the cable network's 14-year history. The series was picked up for ten episodes. On May 1, 2014, TV Land renewed Hot in Cleveland for a sixth season and confirmed the following November that it would be the show's last. The series ran for 128 episodes, with the hour-long final episode airing on June 3, 2015.
The series was created by Suzanne Martin and is executive produced by Martin, Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner, through their production companies SamJen Productions and Hazy Mills Productions, and is produced in association with TV Land. The concept behind the show was based on an original idea by Lynda Obst, who serves as executive producer. The series was recorded in front of a live studio audience at CBS's Studio Center in Studio City, California.Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
This is a list of winners and nominees of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. Prior to 1989, the category was not gender specific, thus was called Outstanding Guest Performer in a Comedy Series. These awards, like the other "Guest" awards, were previously not presented at the Primetime Emmy Award ceremony, but rather at the Creative Arts Emmy Award ceremony.Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program
The Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program is an award that was first awarded in 2008. On July 27, 2008, it was announced that the category's five nominees would all co-host the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards telecast.Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
This is a list of winners and nominees of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Beginning with the 18th Primetime Emmy Awards, leading actresses in comedy have competed alone. However, these comedic performances included actresses from miniseries, telefilms, and guest performers competing against main cast competitors. Such instances are marked below:
# – Indicates a performance in a Miniseries or Television film, prior to the category's creation.
§ – Indicates a performance as a guest performer, prior to the category's creation.Saturday Night Live (season 35)
The thirty-fifth season of Saturday Night Live, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on NBC between September 26, 2009, and May 15, 2010.
A total of 22 episodes were broadcast during the show's eight-month-long season, which included a two-week break in February due to the 2010 Winter Olympics. The season was accompanied by three prime-time episodes of Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday and three prime-time SNL clip shows.
A notable moment of the season was when an internet campaign was created to get actress Betty White to host an episode of the show. The campaign was started in early 2010 on Facebook and the group was called "Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!" The campaign was successful, and White became the oldest person ever to host the show. For White's episode, Lorne Michaels brought back former cast members Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon. The episode garnered the show's highest ratings in over a year. with a rating of 5.8 in the 18–49 rating, demographic and with 12.1 million viewers overall.This would be the last season for cast member Will Forte. This would also be the only season for featured player Jenny Slate.Stone Mountain (30 Rock)
"Stone Mountain" is the third episode of the fourth season of the American television comedy series 30 Rock, and the 61st overall episode of the series. The episode was written by co-executive producer John Riggi and directed by series producer Don Scardino. It originally aired on the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) network in the United States on October 29, 2009. Guest stars in "Stone Mountain" include Jeff Dunham and Bubba J, Jimmy Fallon, Blaine Horton, and Betty White.
In the episode, Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) and Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) travel to NBC page Kenneth Parcell's (Jack McBrayer) home town of Stone Mountain, Georgia to find a new actor for the fictitious sketch comedy show The Girlie Show with Tracy Jordan (TGS) who will appeal to middle America. At the same time, Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski), worried a new actor will steal her spotlight, tries to befriend the TGS staff writers—Frank Rossitano (Judah Friedlander), Toofer Spurlock (Keith Powell), and J.D. Lutz (John Lutz)—to ensure her continued success. Meanwhile, after two other celebrities die, Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) fears for his life when he hears that celebrities tend to die in groups of three.
"Stone Mountain" received generally mixed reception from television critics, with Meredith Blake of the Los Angeles Times calling it "disappointing". According to the Nielsen Media Research, it was watched by 6.011 million households during its original broadcast, and received a 3.0 rating/7 share among viewers in the 18–49 demographic.Sue Ann Nivens
Sue Ann Nivens is a fictional character from the long-running situation comedy, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She was played by television perennial, Betty White.The Betty White Show
The Betty White Show is an American sitcom which aired on CBS from September 12, 1977, to January 9, 1978. Fourteen episodes were broadcast. The series was produced by MTM Enterprises. Note: This program should not be confused with two earlier television programs that had the same title—a daytime talk show that ran on NBC February 8, 1954 – December 31, 1954, and a prime-time comedy variety show that ran on ABC February 5, 1958 – April 30, 1958.The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls is an American sitcom created by Susan Harris that originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992, with a total of 180 half-hour episodes spanning seven seasons. The show stars Beatrice Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty as four older women who share a home in Miami, Florida. It was produced by Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions, in association with Touchstone Television, and Paul Junger Witt. Tony Thomas and Harris served as the original executive producers.
The Golden Girls received critical acclaim throughout most of its run and won several awards including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series twice. It also won three Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. Each of the four stars received an Emmy Award, making it one of only three sitcoms in the award's history to achieve this. The series also ranked among the top-10 highest-rated programs for six of its seven seasons. In 2013, TV Guide ranked The Golden Girls number 54 on its list of the 60 Best Series of All Time. In 2014, the Writers Guild of America placed the sitcom at number 69 in their list of the "101 Best Written TV Series of All Time".The Lorax (film)
The Lorax (also known as Dr. Seuss' The Lorax) is a 2012 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy film produced by Illumination Entertainment and based on Dr. Seuss's children's book of the same name. The film was released by Universal Pictures on March 2, 2012, on what would have been Seuss' 108th birthday.
The second adaptation of the book (following the 1972 animated television special), the film builds on the book by expanding the story of the Lorax and Ted, the previously unnamed boy who visits the Once-ler. The cast includes Danny DeVito as the Lorax, Ed Helms as the Once-ler and Zac Efron as Ted. New characters introduced in the film are Audrey, Ted's love interest (voiced by Taylor Swift), Aloysius O'Hare (Rob Riggle), Mrs. Wiggins, Ted's mother (Jenny Slate), and Grammy Norma, Ted's grandmother (Betty White).While the film received mixed reviews from critics, it was a box office success, grossing $348.8 million worldwide based on a $70 million budget.The Lost Valentine
The Lost Valentine is a 2011 Hallmark Hall of Fame made-for-television drama film starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Betty White and Sean Faris. It is based on the novel by James Michael Pratt of the same name, previously titled The Last Valentine, a 1998 New York Times and USA Today bestseller. In December 2011, Betty White received a nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie for her performance.The Proposal (2009 film)
The Proposal is a 2009 American romantic comedy film directed by Anne Fletcher and written by Peter Chiarelli. The film stars Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds with Betty White, Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson. The plot centers on a Canadian executive who learns that she may face deportation from the U.S. because of her expired visa. Determined to retain her position as editor in chief of a publishing house, she convinces her assistant to temporarily act as her fiancé.
Development on the film began in 2005, when Chiarelli wrote the film's script. Principal filming occurred over a period of two months from March to May 2008. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who criticized its script but praised the chemistry between Bullock and Reynolds. It was a box office success, grossing over $317 million worldwide and becoming the 20th highest-grossing film of 2009. Bullock garnered a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.You Again
You Again is a 2010 American comedy film produced by John J. Strauss and Eric Tannenbaum and directed by Andy Fickman with music by Nathan Wang and written by Moe Jelline. The film stars Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, James Wolk, Victor Garber, Billy Unger, Kyle Bornheimer, Kristin Chenoweth, and Betty White.
The film was released on September 24, 2010, by Touchstone Pictures to negative reviews from critics and it earned $32 million against a production budget of $20 million. It was the last solo Touchstone Pictures project before working on subsequent films in association with Miramax, DreamWorks, and Lucasfilm. As a result of this, Touchstone signed a deal with DreamWorks Pictures in 2011 starting with I Am Number Four.