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Also Known As: Elizabeth White, Betty Marion White Died:
Born: January 17, 1922 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Oak Park, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, game show panelist, producer, TV host, author, animal activist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Comic actress Betty White was a strong television presence for more than 50 years, both as a sitcom player and as an irreverent wit on scores of panel game shows. She was front and center at the birth of live television in the 1940s, serving as one of the medium's earliest female producers - in addition to making her mark as a comedienne on sitcoms and popular game shows that depended on a fast quip. White's regular appearances on the panels of "Liar's Club" and "Password" nearly eclipsed her acting work until a supporting role on the acclaimed sitcom "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS, 1970-77) reestablished her primetime presence, earning her an Emmy for her angelic-faced but bawdy "happy homemaker," Sue Ann Nivens. She went on to enjoy further sitcom successes with NBC's surprise gal pal hit, "The Golden Girls" (NBC, 1985-1992), where she offered up daffy naiveté as Rose Nylund. As White's status evolved into that of a revered pop culture icon, her razor wit was tapped nonstop for everything from "That '70s Show" (Fox, 1998-2006) and "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004-09) to a Facebook-instigated hosting stint on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), which made her one of the hippest octogenarians in small...

Comic actress Betty White was a strong television presence for more than 50 years, both as a sitcom player and as an irreverent wit on scores of panel game shows. She was front and center at the birth of live television in the 1940s, serving as one of the medium's earliest female producers - in addition to making her mark as a comedienne on sitcoms and popular game shows that depended on a fast quip. White's regular appearances on the panels of "Liar's Club" and "Password" nearly eclipsed her acting work until a supporting role on the acclaimed sitcom "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS, 1970-77) reestablished her primetime presence, earning her an Emmy for her angelic-faced but bawdy "happy homemaker," Sue Ann Nivens. She went on to enjoy further sitcom successes with NBC's surprise gal pal hit, "The Golden Girls" (NBC, 1985-1992), where she offered up daffy naiveté as Rose Nylund. As White's status evolved into that of a revered pop culture icon, her razor wit was tapped nonstop for everything from "That '70s Show" (Fox, 1998-2006) and "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004-09) to a Facebook-instigated hosting stint on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), which made her one of the hippest octogenarians in small screen history. Like television comedian Lucille Ball and other timeless talents from the early days of television, White remained a relevant comedic force for decades and was destined to live on in rebroadcasts forever.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
3.
 You Again (2010)
4.
 Love N' Dancing (2009)
5.
 Proposal, The (2009)
6.
 Ponyo (2008)
7.
 Third Wish, The (2007)
8.
 Annie's Point (2005)
9.
 Bringing Down the House (2003) Mrs Kline
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1949:
Made TV debut after several years in radio
1953:
Produced and starred on the syndicated sitcom "Life with Elizabeth" (retitled "The Betty White Show" in 1954)
1955:
Became a panelist on game show "Make the Connection" (NBC)
1956:
Appeared on "The Story of Virginia Lennert" episode of "The Millionaire" (CBS)
1957:
Produced and starred on "Date with the Angels" (ABC)
1958:
Hosted her own variety program "The Betty White Show" (ABC)
1961:
Regularly appeared as a panelist on game show "Password" (CBS, ABC)
1962:
Feature film debut "Advise and Consent"
1967:
Co-hosted the "78th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade" (NBC)
1971:
Hosted the syndicated animal series "The Pet Set"
1971:
Made TV-movie debut in "Vanished" (Fox)
1973:
Played the relentlessly perky Sue Ann Nivens on CBS' "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"
1977:
Headlined her own short-lived sitcom "The Betty White Show" (CBS)
1983:
Landed a recurring role as the snobbish Ellen, the title character's oldest daughter on "Mama's Family" (NBC)
1983:
Hosted the NBC game show "Just Men!"
1985:
Played the memorable role of ditzy and sweet Rose Nylund on the NBC comedy series "The Golden Girls"
1992:
Reprised role of Rose Nylund for the spin-off "The Golden Palace" (CBS)
1993:
Joined the cast of "Bob" (CBS) as Bob Newhart's boss
1995:
Played Marie Osmond's mother on the short-lived ABC sitcom "Maybe This Time"
1996:
Played herself on a memorable episode of "The John Larroquette Show" (NBC)
1996:
Received an Emmy nomination for appearance on "Suddenly Susan" (NBC)
1998:
Cast as Mrs. Wilson in the straight to video release "Dennis the Menace Strikes Again"
1999:
Provided some comic relief as a foul-mouthed widow in the thriller "Lake Placid"
1999:
Had a regular role on the CBS sitcom "Ladies Man"
2001:
Voiced Grandma Sophie in "The Wild Thornberry's: The Origin of Donnie"
2002:
Landed a recurring role on "That '70s Show" (Fox) as Kitty's mother
2002:
Received an Emmy nomination for her guest starring role on "Yes, Dear" (CBS)
2003:
Joined Steve Martin for the comedy "Bringing Down the House"
2004:
Guest starred on three episodes of "The Practice" (ABC) as Carol Piper, a resident of Alan Shore's (James Spader) hometown
2005:
Again portrayed Catherine Piper with a recurring role on "Boston Legal" (ABC)
2006:
Joined the CBS soap opera "The Bold and the Beautiful" as Ann Douglas, the mother of arch Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery)
2007:
Starred in a parody of ABC's "Ugly Betty" titled "Ugly Betty White" for the TV Land Awards
2007:
Played herself as the victim of Wilhelmina Slater's (Vanessa Williams) temper on an episode of "Ugly Betty" (ABC)
2009:
Joined Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds for the comedy "The Proposal"
2009:
Earned an Emmy nomination for her guest starring role on NBC's "My Name is Earl" as the Crazy Witch Lady
2010:
Hosted NBC's "Saturday Night Live" after fans campaigned on social networking site Facebook
2010:
Co-starred opposite Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, and Valerie Bertinelli on TV Land's ensemble comedy "Hot in Cleveland"
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
2011:
Co-starred with Jennifer Love Hewitt in the Lifetime drama "The Lost Valentine"
2012:
Voiced the character Grammy Norma in animated feature "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Beverly Hills High School: Beverly Hills , California - 1939

Notes

Inducted into Television Academy Hall of Fame (1995).

White is a vocal and well-known animal lover and activist. She has been a trustee of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association for 25 years, and is a past president and 24-year member of the Morris Animal Foundation. White has been honored frequently by animal and animal-rights groups.

"I'm better known for my animal work than my career. I spend more time on it. I'm not into animal rights. . . . I'm into animal health and well-being." --Betty White to LOS ANGELES TIMES, July 13, 1999

"She could read the phone book and be funny." --"Lake Placid" director Steve Miner to LOS ANGELES TIMES, July 13, 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Richard Barker. Had two; survived him.
husband:
Richard Barker. Chicken farmer, WWII pilot. Married in 1945; separated after four months; divorced.
husband:
Lane Allen. Agent. Married in 1947; divorced 1949.
husband:
Lane Allen. British.
husband:
Allen Ludden. Had three children.
husband:
Allen Ludden. TV host. Met in 1961 when she appeared on "Password"; acted together in summer stock; married on Easter in 1963; died of stomach cancer on June 9, 1981 at age 63.
companion:
Michael Donaldson. Has one.
companion:
Michael Donaldson. Attorney.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Horace White. Had two; father, Robert Shaw.
father:
Horace White. Traveling salesman.
mother:
Tess White. Survived him.
step-son:
David Ludden. Had two; father, Robert Shaw.
step-daughter:
Martha Ludden. Painter.
step-daughter:
Sarah Ludden. Survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Betty White's Pet Love"
"Betty White in Person"
"The Leading Lady: Dinah's Story
"Here We Go Again: My Life in Television" Lisa Drew/Scribner
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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