A Memorial to Betty White


Betty White at the 1989 Emmy Awards. (Photo Provided by Creative Commons.)

Betty White, a woman beloved by all, died at age 99 on December 31, 2021. The cause was found to be a stroke that occurred days before her death. 


Best known for her roles on the sitcoms The Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, White was not only an actress in her younger years, but somewhat of a comedian and a well-known, well-liked fan favorite in her older age. After a popular Snickers commercial during a Super Bowl brought her back into the public eye, she was voted the public’s choice to host Saturday Night Live and emcee multiple awards shows.


White also notoriously loved animals. As well as working with many animal organizations, the dues for her fan club, Bet’s Pets, went to animal rescue charities. This love of animals was instilled in White early in life by her parents. 


Although her early dream was to become a forest ranger or writer, White fell in love with performing after playing the lead character in a senior play she wrote in high school. She ultimately decided to skip college to go on radio shows.


Soon after starting this endeavor, White started on her own show, The Betty White Show, and co-hosted a popular daily variety show, Hollywood on Television. After her co-host left, White hosted the show by herself, receiving an Emmy Award nomination in 1951 for best actress on television, the first award and category specifically made for women on television. 


Her second and third Emmy nominations came while acting on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She eventually became the first woman to win a Daytime Emmy Award for hosting the game show Just Men! in 1983. 


White went on to play Rose in The Golden Girls from 1985-1992, afterwards acting in The Golden Palace (a spin-off of The Golden Girls), Bob, Maybe This Time, Ally McBeal, and That ‘70s Show. She also played Catherine Piper in Boston Legal from 2005 to 2008, and Ann Doulas in The Bold and the Beautiful from 2006 to 2009.


Although she has always been a household name, White’s career resurgence started with her role in The Proposal and hit its peak when she acted in Hot in Cleveland as Elka Ostrovsky. 


In her lifetime, White was nominated for 21 Primetime Emmys and won five. 


Betty White told People magazine that the key to a long and happy life is “having a sense of humor.” Take a note from Betty and don’t take life too seriously. Always look for the positive and live each day in the moment because, in her words, “Before you know it, it will all be gone.”