Betty White Biography

Betty White photo

Born: January 17, 1922


Date of Birth: January 17, 1922

Betty White began her career in radio before moving into local television in Los Angeles at its very beginning on the West Coast in 1950. After hosting a local television show, she formed her own production company in partnership with producer Don Fedderson and writer George Tibbles and produced her first comedy series: Life with Elizabeth, for which she received an Emmy in 1952; The Betty White Show, a daily NBC network talk/variety show; and a network situation comedy, A Date with the Angels. She appeared frequently on major variety and game shows, and was a recurring regular with Jack Paar (over 70 appearances), Merv Griffin and Johnny Carson, (including many with the Mighty Carson Art Players). She also subbed as host on all three shows. She was a regular on Mama's Family as sister Ellen, a role she created with the rest of the company on The Carol Burnett Show.

White's first appearance on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the show's fourth season led to her becoming a recurring cast member. Her portrayal of Sue Ann Nivens, the Happy Homemaker, brought two Emmys for supporting actress in 1974-75 and 1975-76. In 1970-71 she created wrote and hosted her syndicated TV animal series, The Pet Set. In 1976 she was awarded the Pacific Pioneers in Broadcasting Golden Ike award and the Genii Award from American Women in Radio and TV. White received her fourth Emmy for best daytime game show host for Just Men. Nominated seven times for best actress in a comedy series for The Golden Girls, she won the Emmy the first season in 1985. She then appeared in the spin-off The Golden Palace for one season. Her Emmy for best guest actress in a comedy series on The John Larroquette Show brought her total Emmys to six. In 1997 she was nominated as guest actress for Suddenly Susan. The American Comedy Awards gave her the Funniest Female Award in 1987 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990. In 1995 she was inducted into the Television Academy's Hall of Fame. Also in 2000 she received the American Comedy Award for the funniest female guest appearance in a television series for Ally McBeal. In 2002 she made recurring appearances on That '70s Show.

White also has had recurring roles on Boston Legal and on the daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful. She's appeared in several movies for television: starring with Leslie Nielsen in Chance of a Lifetime, The Retrievers for Animal Planet, Stealing Christmas with Tony Danza and Lea Thompson and, in 2005 for the Hallmark Channel, a movie called Annie's Point with Richard Thomas and Amy Davidson.

Her endeavors on the big screen include Hard Rain with Morgan Freeman and Christian Slater, Lake Placid, The Story of Us, Bringing Down the House with Steve Martin and The Propsal with Sandra Bullock.

Twice divorced, White was married to actor/game show host Allen Ludden from June 14, 1963 until his death in 1981. She is the author of five books, including Betty White's Pet Love, Betty White in Person and Here We Go Again: My Life in Television. Two books were co-authored with Tom Sullivan, including The Leading Lady: Dinah's Story and Together. In February 2006 White was honored by the City of Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Zoo as Ambassador to the Animals for her lifelong work for animal welfare. In January 2010, White received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild.

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