It has been a little over a month since Betty White passed away on Dec. 31, 2021, parting from us on the last day of the year and just 17 days away from her 100th birthday.
According to biography.com Betty White was born Jan. 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois. She shortly moved to Los Angeles at the age of 2 with her parents. She attended and graduated from Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills, California at age 17 in 1939.
Before starting acting roles on television, White was a major part of the radio. In 1949 White began appearing as co-host with Al Jarvis on his daily live television variety show called “Hollywood on Television”. White began hosting the show by herself in 1952 after Jarvis's departure.
In 1952, the same year that she began hosting “Hollywood on Television”, White co-founded Bandy Productions with writer George Tibbles and Don Fedderson, a producer. Later on White, Fedderson, and Tibbles created the television comedy Life with Elizabeth, with White portraying the title character.
White had full creative control in front of and behind the camera. She was one of the first women in the United States who was able to achieve this and gained her the name the first lady of television. From 1952 to 1954, White hosted and produced her own daily talk/variety show called “The Betty White Show” which aired on NBC.
Betty was also very progressive for her time. When a black performer, Arthur Duncan was a regular member of her show and people got upset about it she said “I’m sorry. Live with it.”
But Betty wasn’t just on radio or sitcoms she also had a deep love for game shows and was on many shows including To Tell the Truth, What’s my line?, and Password. While her love for performing drew her to the stage, ultimately it was her passion for television and game shows in particular that led to pivotal moments in both her professional and personal life.
Later in her career, White played characters in several different shows. From Sue Ann Nivens on “The Mary Tyler Moore show” in the 70s to Ellen Harper Jackson in “Mama’s Family'' along with Rose Nylund in “Golden Girls” in the 80s.
In 2010, White was called to host SNL, making her the oldest person ever to host at age 88. The appearance also caused a resurgence to her career and popularity among the younger generations.
During her final years White was given the appreciation and respect she was owed as a pioneer for women in the film industry and her hard work to achieve equality.