Betty Marion White Ludden was an American actress and comedian. White was known for her extensive work in the entertainment industry and also for being one of the first women to work both in front of and behind the camera, White was a pioneer of early television who had a career that spanned more than eight decades. She was the first woman in the United States to produce a sitcom (Life with Elizabeth), a distinction that earned her the honorary title of Mayor of Hollywood in 1955. White is often referred to as the "First Lady of Television," a title given to a 2018 documentary that chronicled her life and career when it comes to television.
Betty Marion White was born on January 17, 1922, in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois. She clarified that Betty was her legal name and not a shortened version of Elizabeth's. She was the only child of Christine Tess, a homemaker, and Horace Logan White, a Michigan-based lighting company executive. Her paternal grandfather was of Danish descent, and her maternal grandfather was of Greek descent; she also has English and Welsh ancestors (both of her grandmothers were Canadians). White was a little over a year old when her family relocated to Alhambra, California, in 1923. Later, during the Great Depression, they relocated to Los Angeles, California.
Her father had to build crystal radios and sell them wherever so he could supplement his family's income. Because it was the height of the Great Depression at the time, and few people had a significant amount of money, he would trade the radios in exchange for other goods, including dogs on occasion.
White attended Horace Mann Elementary School and Beverly Hills High School during her time in Beverly Hills, where she graduated in 1939. Her fascination with wildlife was piqued during family vacations to the Sierra Nevada mountains. She had initially hoped to pursue a career as a forest ranger, but she could not do so because women were not permitted to serve as rangers at the time of her application. White, on the other hand, pursued a passion for writing. She wrote and performed the lead role in a graduation play at Horace Mann School, where she discovered her love for acting. Following in the footsteps of her idols Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, she decided to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Betty Marion White was born on January 17, 1922, in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois.
At the beginning of her career, she visited literarily every movie studio in Los Angeles, looking for work as an actress, but she was always rejected. The reason for being rejected was that she was not photogenic enough for them. She decided to change paths and started to look for a job on radio stations. Her biography tells us that her first tasks on the radio included reading advertisements and playing bit parts.
She began her career on television in 1933. Her first professional job as an actress was at the Bliss Hayden Little Theatre. Betty White is a brave woman, and she was part of American Women's Voluntary Services at World War II. She nearly experienced death at that point. She had her radio show called The Betty White Show. She was the co-host of the television show Hollywood on Television, alongside Al Jarvis.
Betty White started hosting Hollywood on Television by herself after Al Jarvis left the show in 1952. Betty White was first nominated for a prestigious Emmy award in 1950. During the 1960's Betty was hosting several television game shows such as Password, What's My Line, and Pyramid. The most crucial role in her career was playing Rose Nylund in the world-famous television comedy show, The Golden Girls. Betty White was the first woman in the history of American television to control a television show in front of the camera and behind it.
White-met her first husband, Dick Barker while volunteering with the American Women's Voluntary Services. Barker was a P-38 fighter pilot with the United States Army Air Forces. They married and moved to Belle Center, Ohio, where Barker owned a chicken farm. He wanted to live a more simple life, but White disagreed with him on this point. They relocated to Los Angeles and divorced within a year of each other's arrival.
They divorced in 1949 because he desired a family, and she desired a career rather than children.
On June 14, 1963, White tied the knot with television host and personality Allen Ludden, whom she met while appearing as a celebrity guest on his game show Password in 1961. She changed her legal name to Betty White Ludden after the ceremony.
He had to propose to White at least twice before she finally said yes. The lovely couple appeared together in an episode of The Odd Couple that featured Felix and Oscar's appearance on Password's television show.
John Steinbeck, a well-known author, was one of the couple's prominent friends. White wrote about her friendship with the author in her 2011 book If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't). Ludden had gone to the same high school as Steinbeck's wife, Elaine Anderson Steinbeck, and they had become friends.
White was the stepmother to Ludden's three children with his first wife, Margaret McGloin Ludden, who died of cancer in 1961. On June 9, 1981, Allen Ludden passed away in Los Angeles after a battle with stomach cancer. White never remarried. During an interview with Larry King, White was asked about the reason for this and answered by saying, "Once you've had the best, who needs the rest?"
White died in her sleep on December 31, 2021, seventeen days before she would have turned 100 years old, at her home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, following a stroke she had suffered six days earlier.
Many individuals and organizations expressed their condolences and expressed their support following her death. President Joe Biden described her as a "lovely lady" and a "cultural icon" whose loss "will be sorely missed." In addition, Barack and Michelle Obama expressed their sympathies on social media. Because White had volunteered with the American Women's Voluntary Services during World War II, the United States Army stated in response to her actions. In addition, the Martin Luther King Jr. Center expressed their condolences via Twitter and praised White for her early support of racial equality in the United States of America. Other public figures, including media organizations, celebrities, political commentators, sports teams, musicians, and other public figures, paid tribute, in addition to the ones mentioned above. Within hours of the announcement of White's death, her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was deluged with flowers and other tributes to the actress.
|17 Jan, 1922
|United States of America
|Beverly Hills High School
|Louis [M. 2004]
|Net Worth 2020:
|Net Worth 2021: