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Paying Respects to Betty White

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

By Jules Scannelli (‘23)

Betty White’s passing has been a shock to most. Almost everyone had high hopes that the famous actress would live to see and celebrate her 100th birthday on January 17. Alas, on December 31, 2021, at the end of another brutal year, Betty White passed away of natural causes at age 99, leaving not only her fans in disarray but her co-workers and friends.

One of White’s co-stars, Jennifer Love Hewitt said in a The U.S Sun interview, “When I was a kid, I watched Golden Girls with my grandmother, and I fell in love with Betty White. And then I got to work with her, and I fell in love with her for real.”

She continued to say, “I had the greatest honor and pleasure of being really close with her and calling her a really, really good friend. One of my best friends. She was everything you wanted her to be and more.”

Other co-stars like Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock who starred with Betty White in the 2009 rom-com The Proposal posted to Twitter reflecting the passing of their friend.

Most people know Betty White from her role as Rose Nylund on Golden Girls with co-stars Estelle Getty, Bea Arthur, and Rue McClanahan. But, according to Britannica, White’s career began in the 1940s when she appeared on various radio shows and shows like Hollywood on Television; a show which interviewed actors and actresses post WW2. She appeared on many game shows too.

SBHS historian, Mr. Zinsmiester said, “My first experience with Betty White was from watching game shows. As I got older, I realized that she had done many things. She was the first woman to ever produce her own television show. She was truly groundbreaking. On one of her variety shows (The Betty White Show), she had a black dancer on her show and a lot of people threatened to boycott the show. They were uncomfortable with the black man on their screen, and she basically said, ‘Too bad’.”

In the late ‘50s, White appeared on the game show Password and met her husband, host Allen Ludden who later died of cancer.

According to long-time friend, and co-star Vicki Lawrence and Insider, Betty White’s last word on December 31 was “Allen”.

Even though Betty White had three husbands through the course of her life, Ludden was the “love of her life and [White] never remarried” after him.

Betty White was a remarkable woman, beloved by all. And she was a woman of many talents and achievements, even though Golden Girls was Betty White’s big hit in her career where she won several awards. 1951 started the long trend of award wins and nominations.

According to Betty White received three of what would be a collection of many awards ranging from the Emmy awards, Teen Choice Award, TV Land Legend, and many more. Her most recent and final award was in 2019 where she won the Career - Honorary Award in the CinEuphoria Awards.

Junior Sofia Kurdlya said, “Betty White was someone that brought my family together during quarantine. We started binge-watching Golden Girls and just fell in love. The show is so wholesome and it taught me the importance of friendship and family. It was a little disheartening to hear she had passed away.”

It seems that Betty White will be missed most by the older generations, but with the rise of COVID-19, streaming services have become a hit amongst Generation Z and so has all of Betty White’s shows/movies bringing her into some teen lives.

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