8 Things You Didn’t Know About Betty White

Betty White, a great American comedian, and actor died last December 31st at the age of 99. She was a television pioneer, having had the longest career of any female performer. She had a tremendous seven-decade career.

Because of her charming grin and superb comic timing, White was adored and followed by millions. If you, too, were a fan of the legendary lady, here are 8 fascinating facts about Betty White’s life.

Betty White
Betty White

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Betty White

1. First Woman To Produce A Sitcom

In 1950, White played the lead in Life with Elizabeth, for which she also acted as co-creator, making her the first woman to produce a sitcom. White received her first Primetime Emmy nomination for the sitcom, which was filmed live on weekends. [1]

2. Oldest Person To Host SNL

On May 8, 2010, at the age of 88, White presented Saturday Night Live, making her the oldest person to ever host the famed late-night sketch series. [2]

3. Has A Longest TV Career Record

Betty holds the Guinness World Record for the longest television career for a female, beginning in 1939. She performed on the first West Coast TV show of its sort. [3]

4. Cutest Proposal

Allen Ludden proposed to Betty by giving her a plush Easter rabbit with gold and sapphire earrings and a message that said, “Now, come on, will you marry me?” . Betty still had the rabbit in her possession according to a 1976 People magazine article. [4]

Betty White with her husband
Betty White with her husband

5. Role Switching

Betty first tried out for Blanche, the promiscuous Golden Girl. Producers, however, were concerned that it would be too similar to her role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. According to CBS, producers requested that Betty and Rue McClanahan trade roles. [5]

6. Awards That Gained Her Recognition

Betty was appropriately into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1995, in recognition of her contributions to shows such as The Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, she was nominated for three Emmys for her work on Mary Tyler Moore, winning two of them.

7. Junk Food Lover

Betty’s Hot in Cleveland co-stars revealed in a US Weekly piece that she enjoyed eating licorice, French fries, diet Pepsi, and hot dogs. They claim this way of life is unsustainable, but it appeared to be working for Betty. [6]

8. Her First-Ever Job In Hollywood

Betty’s first employment in Hollywood was in a Parkay Margarine commercial in 1939. She hung out in producer Fran Van Hartesveldt’s office until he hired her for a commercial.

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