Very few Hollywood celebrities can claim to have a long and successful career, but even the fame and success of those who have achieved this feat pales when compared to Betty White’s long and celebrated journey. In 2018, Betty White became the celebrity with the longest TV career as a female entertainer. She was a major TV star during the 70s and 80s. However, her stardom began to dwindle towards the end of the century.
In 2010, a Super Bowl commercial revived Betty’s career and landed her a spot not only on Hot in Cleveland but at 88, also gave her the chance to become the oldest host ever. In her eight-decade-long career, Betty has won many Emmys and has won billions of fans through her mega-watt smile. She may be 98 now but to us, Betty White will forever be young and fun. Did you know Betty loves junk food or that she has been married thrice but has no children of her own? In this video, we tell you 15 things you didn’t know about Betty White.
She Wants You to Know Her Real Name Is Betty and Not Elizabeth
Betty Marion White was born in Oak Park, Illinois, to Christine Tess, a homemaker, and Horace Logan White, who held an executive-level position in a lighting company. In her autobiography, Betty explained that Betty is the star’s real name and not as many people assume a shortened version of the name Elizabeth. Betty explained further that her parents gave her the name Betty because they didn’t like any of the names derived from Elizabeth.
She Has a Guinness World Record to Her Credit
In 2014, Guinness Book of World Records awarded Betty White with the unique distinction of being the Female artist with the longest career. The same year, she had completed 74 years in show business. The year before, Guinness World Records had announced Bruce Forsyth as the Male Artist with the longest career. Given that Betty White’s career spans over eight decades now, it seems unlikely that anyone will be able to break her record anytime soon.
At 92, She Became the Oldest Celebrity to Win an Emmy Nomination
Between 2012 and 2017, Betty White did Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, a hugely successful show in which senior people played pranks on the younger generation. The show won Betty her 21st Emmy nomination in 2014. She was nominated for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program. At the time, she was 92. Betty also has the distinction of being the celebrity with the longest span between her first and last Emmy nomination. She got her first in 1951 and she won the last one in 2014. Given that she is very much active, we are sure she will make sure to make it very difficult for anyone to break this record.
She Is a Junk Food Junkie
Betty White is 98 and she is fit as a fiddle. You may be thinking this is primarily because she eats well and takes good care of herself. On the contrary, Betty believes the key to aging gracefully is eating what one wants. Jane Leeves, who worked with Betty White on Hot in Cleveland, revealed in an interview that Betty survives on hot dogs and french fries and is a huge fan of red licorice. She also loves red vines and Diet Coke.
She Is Also a Huge Fan of Robert Redford
Betty White is a huge fan of Robert Redford. Surprisingly, though Betty has done 113 films and TV shows in her eight-decades-long career, she has never got the opportunity to work with Robert Redford. She is a such a huge fan of Redford that the Hot In Cleveland team tried their best to cast Redford on the show just to have Betty get her chance to work alongside the ever-charming actor. Unfortunately, Redford is retired from acting. Last year, Betty made it clear that all she wanted for her 97th birthday was a call from Robert Redford. Did she get the call? We do not know but we sincerely would love to see the two together on screen.
However, if there is one thing Betty loves more than Robert Redford and her hot dogs, it’s animals. Betty White is a huge animal lover. In fact, she said no to Jack Nicholson’s hit classic As Good As It Gets because of her love for animals. We will tell you all about it in a while. So, stick around and do not forget to like and subscribe to our channel.
No One Remembers the Name of Her Debut Show
No one knows the name of the show on which Betty White made her screen debut, not even Betty White. She just remembers that it was 1939 and she was 17 years old. However, she remembers the experience clearly. Betty told Guinness Book of World Records that for her first television appearance, she wore the dress she had worn for her high school graduation and danced on Merry Widow Waltz.
She joined the American Women’s Voluntary Services During World War II
Betty White rose to prominence during the 60s and 70s. However, not many people know that before entering the world of television, Betty worked in theatre and radio. She was also a successful model. However, during World War II, Betty put her ambitions aside and joined the American Women’s Voluntary Services. She spent her days delivering supplies and her nights was spent giving proper send-offs to soldiers with grand dances.
She Became the First Female Producer in Television History with Life with Elizabeth
In 1949, Betty White began co-hosting the Al Jarvis’ Make-Believe Ballroom show with Al Jarvis and after Jarvis left the show, Betty became the show’s main host, a job that she continued for the next four years. The Al Jarvis’ Make-Believe Ballroom show got Betty White her first Emmy nomination and also gave her the chance to become a producer with Life with Elizabeth. The show was written by George Tibbles, who would go on to produce famous hit series like Dennis The Menace and Leave It To Beaver in future.
A Facebook Group Compelled Michael Lorne to Request Her to Host SNL
We told you that at the age of 88, Betty White became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live. However, there is an interesting story behind how that happened. In 2010, someone created a Facebook group asking people who wanted Betty White to host SNL to join the group. Within no time, the FB group had gathered close to a million followers and therefore, Lorne Michaels decided to ask Betty to host SNL. The episode was hugely successful, getting SNL its highest ratings in 18 months and Betty her fifth Emmy.
She Lost NBC’s Tournament of Roses Parade Due to the Mary Tyler Moore Show
Between 1962 and 1971, Betty White, along with Lorne Greene, hosted the NBC’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Between 1956 and 1976, she was also a colour commentator for NBC’s Tournament of Roses Parade, an annual parade that marked the beginning of the Rose Bowl Game. However, after she accepted the offer to play Sue Ann Nivens on NBC’s rival CBS’ The Mary Tyler Moore Show, NBC decided to replace Betty with another host. Betty loved hosting the parade and was disappointed by NBC’s decision.
She Has Been Married Thrice but Has No Children of Her Own
Betty White married Dick Barker, a U.S. Air Force pilot, in 1945. Unfortunately, they got divorced the same year. Two years later, she married Lane Allen, a Hollywood agent. The couple divorced in 1949 after Lane asked Betty to quit her acting career. In 1963, she married Allen Ludden, who hosted the famous game show Password. The couple guest-starred on many shows. Ludden died of stomach cancer in 1981 and while Betty White does not any children of her own, she is a stepmother to three children through Ludden.
She Refused Allen Ludden’s Proposal at Least Twice Before Finally Saying Yes
Betty White and Allen Ludden had a wonderful marriage. After divorcing Lane Allen, Betty had become sceptical about marriage. However, in 1961, she met Allen Ludden on the sets of Password. Ludden immediately fell for Betty but she wasn’t sure about marriage. Ludden proposed to Betty at least twice before she accepted. He used to wear the engagement ring he had chosen for Betty around his neck in the hope that she will say yes one day and he will immediately give her the ring. Betty and Allen stayed married until Allen’s demise in 1981. Today, they have stars next to each other on the Walk of Fame. Larry King once asked Betty White if she would consider marrying again and the actress said that she has already had the best and therefore, does not want the rest.
She Wasn’t the First Choice for the Role of Rose Nylund on Golden Girls
Today, it is hard to imagine anyone other than Betty White as Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls. When the producers of Golden Girls were casting for the show, they had initially auditioned Betty for the role of the show’s party girl and wanted to rope in Rue McClanahan for the role of Rose Nylund. However, at the end moment, director Jay Sandrich, afraid of typecasting the actresses, decided to switch roles. Thus, Betty got Rose Nylund and the rest is history.
Betty White Is a Huge Animal Lover
Betty White is a huge animal lover and an animal rights activist. Those who love her know that wherever she goes, she makes it a point to visit the local zoo. She has donated thousands of dollars to the Los Angeles Zoo and has vocally supported the Farm Animal Reform Movement and Friends of Animals group on several occasions. It is, therefore, not very surprising that when she was once asked during an interview about her second career choice, she replied immediately, a zookeeper.
She Didn’t Do as Good as It Gets Because of One Particular Scene
Betty White was offered the role of Beverly Connelly in Jack Nicholson’s As Good As It Gets. However, she declined the role because of the scene where Jack Nicholson heartlessly pushes a little furry down his apartment’s trash chute. When Betty appeared on The Joy Behar Show she explained that there are people who don’t like dogs or dogs when they bark and those people may be tempted to do the same thing that Jack Nicholson’s character does to the dog in the film. Betty, therefore, asked the director of the film, James L. Brooks, to delete the scene. Unfortunately, James decided to keep the scene and cast Shirley Knight in place of Betty. We told you she is a huge animal lover.
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