Last week, Betty White passed away. The legendary actress was 99, just weeks short of her 100th birthday.
The loss of Betty White has left millions of fans grieving, and The Golden Girls actress will forever have a special place in our hearts.
The last few years were quite challenging for White. And even though she seemed to be the happiest person in the world – she was forced against her will to do something that she didn’t want.
On December 31, Betty White passed away. The news was a shock to many fans, and now, the legendary trailblazing actress is being honored worldwide.
Her close friend and agent Jeff Witjas told People that she “died peacefully in her sleep at her home.”
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” Witjas told People in a statement. “I will miss her terribly, and so will the animal world that she loved so much. I don’t think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband, Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again.”
Betty White dead at 99
After the news of her passing became known to the public, Hollywood paid tribute to Betty White.
“The world looks different now. She was great at defying expectations. She managed to grow very old and, somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret,” Ryan Reynolds, her co-star on the film The Proposal, wrote on Twitter.
“I don’t drink vodka … but I will tonight, on ice, with a slice of lemon with a hot dog on the other side, and just be ok being sad. I’ll have to buy some rose-colored glasses because Betty was that for all of us,” Sandra Bullock told People.
Comedian Kathy Griffin, Betty White’s co-star on the comedy television series Suddenly Susan, also made sure to pay tribute to her. On Twitter, she shared an old story of when the two met in the 1990s.
“Betty White. Where do I begin? I’ve known her long, but I think the first time I met her was when she was a guest star on Suddenly Susan in the late 90s. Everyone was very excited she was on the show. I had accidentally parked in her parking spot that day. She walks in, yells from the back of the soundstage for everyone to hear, ‘Where’s that redheaded b*tch who stole my parking spot???’ SWOON. A friendship was born.”
In addition, President Joe Biden took to Twitter to honor Betty White, saying that she “brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans.”
Betty White – early life
Betty White lived her life to the fullest to the end. But in the last few of years of her life, the actress was forced to live a life that she didn’t want to.
Born on January 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois, Betty White was the only child of parents Horace White and Tess Curts White. The family moved to Los Angeles during the Great Depression, and as a child, White wasn’t thinking of a career in acting.
She dreamed about working as a forest ranger or a writer. However, when in high school, she fell in love with acting,
In 2010, White’s childhood dream came true as she became an honorary forest ranger, receiving the title by the U.S Forest Service during a ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. She was presented with both a badge and a ranger’s hat.
“In my heart, I’ve been a forest ranger all my life, but now I’m official,” Betty White said at the time.
“Whether I’ve been a legitimate forest ranger or not, I’ve been working for the cause for the last 89 years. I know this is an honorary position, but it’s also one where I can use a voice to try to protect the remaining beautiful parts of this gorgeous world we live on.”
After graduating high school, Betty White had found her true passion in acting. She first worked in radio and had her show, The Betty White Show. Not long after, she moved on to be an assistant at a local television station.
While working on local television, a sketch became White’s ticket to fame. Then, in the early 1950s, she, alongside George Tibbles, launched her first television series, Life with Elizabeth.
“He wrote, and I produced,” White told The Hollywood Reporter. “I was one of the first women producers in Hollywood.”
It was clear from the beginning that Betty White was a tremendous talent in Hollywood. She took over the reins of television, and in 1951, she was nominated for her first Primetime Emmy Award for Best Actress. It was groundbreaking since it was the first-ever category to recognize the achievements of women at the Emmy Awards.
Betty White co-hosted the variety show Hollywood on Television alongside Al Jarvis in 1949, and three years later, she became the only host. She spent hours and hours working on the show, six days a week for four years.
Married three times
Betty White’s career in show business had just started, but as the 1950s arrived, she had already been married twice: first to Dick Barker, then to Lane Allen. Neither marriage lasted long, with both ending in divorce.
She met her third husband, Allen Ludden, on the game show Password in the 1960s. He was the host, and the pair immediately hit it off. Betty was cautious at the start, given her two failed marriages, but when she met Allen again on the set of a play they were both in, she knew this was the real deal, and they started dating.
Unfortunately, the two stars lived at opposite ends of the country — Betty in California and Allen in New York. Nevertheless, they maintained a long-distance relationship for a while. Eventually, Allen proposed to Betty, only for her to turn him down as she didn’t want to relocate to New York.
Despite her refusal, however, Allen refused to give up. He persisted with the proposals, and, eventually, Betty said yes.
The two tied the knot in 1963 and enjoyed successful careers while blissfully in love. Sadly, in 1981, Allen passed away from stomach cancer, and Betty never remarried.
She became a proud stepmother to three stepkids, who called her “Dragon Lady”
However, their relationship wasn’t all that great in the beginning. As reported by Closer, her stepdaughter Martha had “some anger” towards Betty when her father remarried.
“Martha was young and she deeply opposed the marriage. She was very angry at her father and made it clear she did not like Betty.”
An insider added that Allen and Martha’s father-daughter relationship was “strained from the start. However, his marriage with the White was a tipping point.
“Allen used to argue with Martha constantly over her anger towards Betty,” the source explained. “Her tumultuous relationship with her father caused him a lot of grief.”
Why she never remarried
In an interview with Oprah, Betty revealed that her only regret in life was not spending more time with Allen in the 1960s.
“I spent a whole year, wasted a whole year that Allen and I could have had together, saying, ‘No, I wouldn’t marry him. No, I won’t, No, I won’t leave California. No, I won’t move to New York,'” she recalled. “I wasted a whole year we could have had together.”
Betty also explained why she’s had no interest in a fourth marriage: “Once you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?”
Betty White was a massive star in the sitcom category of television, and in 1973, she took the next step towards becoming a true legend. Starring as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, White – alongside co-stars Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Asner, and Cloris Leachman, among others – cemented herself a spot in television history for her portrayal of Sue Ann Nivens.
“Nobody knew going in that The Mary Tyler Moore Show would be an all-time classic,” she said in her 1997 Television Academy interview. “In the fourth season, I got a call one week, would I do that week’s Mary Tyler Moore Show, from casting. They wanted a happy homemaker who was a sickening, icky Betty White type.”
Betty White – ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ & ‘Golden Girls’
Betty White received two Emmys for her performance on The Mary Tyler Moore Show for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series two years in a row, and it sure was a special moment.
“When they announced my name that night, and Ed Asner presented it to me, I was a mess,” White recalled.
“I was so excited, so happy. And so grateful. I started out as an actress in the business, but then I did game shows and talk shows. I became a ‘television personality.’ So everybody was so surprised. ‘Why Betty can act, isn’t that amazing?’ It really did turn my career completely around.”
In the 1980s through the 1990s, Betty White continued to show her great talents when starring as Rose Nylund on the hit show The Golden Girls. From there, she moved on to appear in numerous television shows and films all the way to 2019, when she was credited with her last ever role.
After that, it seemed like nothing could stop Betty White from living the good life, and in fact, she never stopped living it either. Betty several times said that she probably needed a better diet, but in the end, she felt like it’s been a key for her long and happy life.
“But hot dogs and Red Vines and potato chips and French fries are my favorite foods. There’s no spare time, so I’m active all the time. I think that forces you to stay well,” she told People in 2012.
Betty White – net worth
“You better realize how good life is while it’s happening,” she said in another interview. “Because before you know it, it will all be gone.”
Betty White did her last interview just weeks ago, saying that she looked forward to celebrating her 100th birthday. It, sadly, didn’t happen, but according to White, she was feeling great to the end. At the time of her passing, Betty White had a net worth of around $75 million.
However, the last years of her life turned out to be something she didn’t like at all. Betty White lived for many years in her oceanside house in Carmel, California, just outside of Monterey, which she and her late husband Allen Ludden built in 1978. She also had a five-bedroom, six-bathroom home in Brentwood in West Los Angeles.
According to the New York Post, Betty White was forced against her will to leave her Carmel home in her final years. She didn’t want to live in Brentwood at all, but she had to.
Betty White was ‘forced to leave’ her Carmel home
According to the Post, White had at-home care – and her Carmel house was too inaccessible.
“She never wanted to leave her home in Carmel but was forced to for at-home care,” a source told The Post. “Los Angeles was more accessible.”
“If she had it her way, Betty would’ve lived and died in that home [in Carmel]. It’s the home she shared with her husband. It’s where she felt more comfortable.”
Funeral services for Betty White have not yet been announced. But one thing is for sure; the legendary actress deserves all the love and respect we can give her.
Betty White will forever be remembered as an outstanding actress and lovely person. She was a person with a warm soul who spread joy worldwide – both through her performances on-screen and in her private life.
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