A Great Danish American Birthday - Betty White

  • January 17, 2022
  • January 17, 2025
  • 4 sessions
  • January 17, 2022 (CST)
  • January 17, 2023 (CST)
  • January 17, 2024 (CST)
  • January 17, 2025 (CST)

A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - BETTY WHITE

Betty White marks 99th birthday Sunday; up late as she wants - By LYNN ELBER 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — True to form, Betty White has something impish to say about her birthday Sunday.

“Since I am turning 99, I can stay up as late as I want without asking permission!” she told The Associated Press in an email.

White’s low-key plans include feeding a pair of ducks that regularly visit her Los Angeles-area home. Her birthday meal will be a hot dog and French fries brought in — along with a bouquet of roses — by her longtime friend and agent, Jeff Witjas.

The actor’s TV credits stretch from 1949’s “Hollywood on Television” to a 2019 voice role in “Forky Asks a Question,” with “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” among the enduring highlights.

In January alone, White is on screen in reruns including “The Golden Girls” and “Hot in Cleveland”; the 2009 Sandra Bullock movie “The Proposal,” and the 2018 documentary “Betty White: First Lady of Television,” about her life and career.

White’s devotion to animals will be on display next month with the DVD and digital release of “Betty White’s Pet Set,” a 1970s series in which she visited with celebrity guests and their pets as well as wild animals.

Her work, always marked by top-drawer comedic timing, has earned her five Emmy Awards, including a 2010 trophy for a guest-host appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” 

A native of Oak Park, Illinois, White was married to game show host and producer Allen Ludden from 1963 until his death in 1981.

Betty Marion White Ludden (born January 17, 1922) is an American actress and comedian.  With a television career spanning over 80 years, White has worked longer in that medium than anyone else in the television industry.  Regarded as a pioneer of television, she was one of the first women to exert control 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.

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 Canadians).

White's family moved to Alhambra, California in 1923 when she was a little over a year old, and later to Los Angeles during the Great Depression.  To make extra money, her father would build radios (crystal radio) 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 the Beverly Hills Unified School District in Beverly Hills, and Beverly Hills High School, graduating in 1939. Her interest in wildlife was sparked by family vacations to the Sierra Nevada. She initially aspired to a career as a forest ranger, but was unable to accomplish this because women were not allowed to serve as rangers at that time.  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.

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.

White is known for her award-winning roles as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1973–1977) and Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls (1985–1992) – The Writers Guild of America has included both sitcoms in its list of the 101 Best-Written TV Series of All Time.  At age 88, she returned to a weekly sitcom playing Elka Ostrovsky on Hot in Cleveland (2010–2015).

A staple panelist of American game shows such as PasswordMatch GameTattletalesThe Hollywood Squares and The $25,000 Pyramid, White has been dubbed "the first lady of game shows", and became the first woman to receive a Daytime Emmy Award, winning the award for Outstanding Game Show Host in 1983 for the show Just Men!  She is also known for her appearances on Boston LegalThe Carol Burnett Show, and Saturday Night Live.

White has starred in such films as Advise & ConsentLake Placid, the English dub of PonyoThe ProposalThe Lorax, and the television film The Lost Valentine, for which her performance received critical acclaim.

White has received eight Emmy Awards in various categories, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy Award.  She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is a 1985 Television Hall of Fame inductee, and a 2009 Disney Legend. - Wikipedia

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