The world lost an adored soul on December 31, 2021. Betty White- an American actress and comedian, author, and animal rights activist; most well known for her character on the late 90’s show The Golden Girls- woefully passed two weeks before her 100 birthday. Betty’s remarkable career, and generosity, truly made her a memorable heroine and favorite celebrity to many.
On January 17, 1922, White was born in a small village known as Oak Park, Illinois. She moved to Los Angeles, California at the age of two. After graduating White embraced writing since she was unable to pursue her dream career as a forest ranger because women were not seen as suitable for that job. This led to her writing and starring as the lead in a play and recognizing her passion for performing.
Once World War II hit the United States, White volunteered as a PX truck driver carrying military supplies to Hollywood Hills for the American Women’s Voluntary Service. “The largest women’s voluntary service organization in the United States which provided food and relief services to armed force posts, disaster workers, and wounded servicemen.” (Britannica.com)
Working as an assistant on a local television station White started her career. Then in 1950, she launched Life Of Elizabeth, her first-ever television series which gave White the honorable title of being the first female to produce a television show. In addition, she appeared in variety, game, and talk shows such as the Tonight Show. White’s popularity skyrocketed when she starred in the series The Mary Tyler Moore Show, playing the role of Sue Ann Nivens. She won two Emmy Awards while working on this series. Later White took on one of her most well-known roles as Rose Nylund in the 1985 sitcom and award-winning show The Golden Girls. Overall White earned a total of 5 Primetime Emmy Awards throughout her career.
Beyond the awards she earned from her career, White received multiple awards from individual charities she was involved in such as the National Humanitarian Medal and the Legacy Award gifted to her in 2012 by the American Humane Society. She took pride in many charities including the Morris Animal Foundation in which she served 50 years and the American Humane Society in which she was involved for over 70 years. One of her greatest accomplishments was establishing the Betty White Wildlife Fund concerning the deepwater horizon oil disaster.
Betty White, although gone, will always be an incredible role model. Her esteemed career and generous actions have touched the hearts of so many individuals and made her “America’s Grandma.” As the Golden Girls would say, thank you Betty White for being a friend.
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