Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few decades, you’re most likely familiar with Betty White. The iconic actress has been making waves with her witty repartee, inappropriate comments, and complete bluntness for as long as most of us have been alive. Starting her rise to fame in the early 1950s, the 95-year-old actress has shown no signs of slowing down – dominating social media and television with her unique wit. She currently holds the record for the longest running career of a female actress to date.
But, it wasn’t just Betty’s wild personality that her fans fell in love with. Check out these old photographs of Betty in her younger days to see exactly what helped her capture the world’s attention for so long.
#12 – Betty’s Start
Betty White was born Betty Marion White on January 17th, 1922 as the only child of an engineer and a housewife. While she was born in Oak Park, Illinois, Betty’s parents moved her to the Los Angeles area when she was approximately two years old.
Little did they know what a difference a change in scenery would make.
#11 – Getting Her Foot In The Door
Betty got started on her path to on-screen fame through the radio, of all places. She started out appearing on talk radio shows such as “Blondie,” “The Great Gildersleeve,” and “This Is Your FBI,” in the 1940s. She was eventually given her own radio talk show, “The Betty White Show.”
# 10 – TV Here She Comes
Betty managed to shove her foot in the door of the television industry by scoring a job as an assistant at her local television studio. Of course, with Betty’s stunning looks and even brighter personality, it didn’t take her long to start making a name for herself in the business.
#9 – Hollywood On Television
In 1949, Betty began co-hosting a daily variety television show called “Hollywood On Television” with presenter Al Jarvis. In 1952, Al Jarvis parted ways with the show, leaving Betty to host the television variety show on her own for another four years. The show, which aired six days a week, was completely live and ad-libbed for the entire five and half hours of weekly airtime.
#8 – First Female Producer
In the early 1950s, she managed to present her first television series, “Life with Elizabeth.” The show was a collaboration project with her friend and coworker, George Tibbles. It was loosely based on a short sketch which Betty had done on a local television production, with George penning the script and Betty producing it, making history as the first female producer.
#7 – Guest Appearances
Betty continued to take America by storm with her charming personality and stunning looks. She made several guest appearances on shows such as “The United States Steel Hour” and “Petticoat Junction.” Jack Paar, former host of “The Tonight Show,” frequently requested Betty as a guest and she continued to appear on game shows like “Password.”
#6 – Love & Television
It was during Betty’s time appearing on the popular game show “Password” where she met her third and final husband, Allen Ludden. The pair met on the show, which he hosted, in 1961. They married in 1963, remaining married until his death in 1981. Betty has since not remarried.
#5 – Mary Tyler Moore & Betty White
Despite Betty’s constant TV presence, it was actually “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” which really catapulted her career. She played Sue Ann Nivens, a co-worker to the show’s star and namesake, Mary Tyler Moore.
It was during her time as Sue Ann Nivens which Betty won her first two Emmy Awards.
#4 – The Golden Years
In the 1980s, Betty landed the role of a lifetime. She was cast in “The Golden Girls” as Rose Nylund, a sweet and naive character, a role unlike any of her previous work. The show was an instant classic, and ran for seven seasons. “The Golden Girls” went on to win several awards and gave Betty yet another Emmy Award for her mantle.
#3 – A Short-Lived Spin-Off
After “The Golden Girls” went off the air, in 1992, Betty went on to star in a spin-off of the popular television show. While “The Golden Girls” had been a large hit with TV audiences, it seemed its sequel, “Golden Palace,” was not to be so successful. It ended shortly after it began.
#2 – Yet Another Emmy
Betty managed to take home yet another Emmy Award in the mid-1990s when she began appearing as herself on “The John Larroquette Show.” It was during this time that she also began reoccurring roles on shows like “Boston Legal,” and the famed soap opera “The Bold and The Beautiful,” among others.
#1 – Back to TV
Betty has not stopped entertaining us yet. She began gaining our attention once again in the 2000s, appearing in movies, like “The Proposal,” and showing up in hysterical Super Bowl ads. After a massive internet petition, Betty became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live and has since restarted her television career with a show called “Hot in Cleveland.”
Whether it was the 1950s or the 2000s, Betty White has always been a fan favorite. It’s clear the world loves her just from looking at her long-running career. While her wit is sharp and her jokes are even sharper, Betty has always been a beauty both on and off the screen. People have fallen in love with Betty for both reasons – her wit and her beauty. For some, of course, it was the inappropriate comments and fondness of swearing.
What was your favorite Betty White moment? Was it a tweet she recently posted or a television show she once hosted? Tell us about in the comments.