Betty White (1922 - 2021)

A photo of Betty White
Betty Marion White
1922 - 2021
January 17, 1922
Oak Park, Illinois
December 31, 2021
Brentwood, Los Angeles County, California U.S.A.
Other Names
Betty Marion White Ludden
Betty White was born on January 17, 1922 in Oak Park, Illinois . She is the child of Tess (Cachikis) White and Horace Logan White. According to her family tree, she married Allen Ellsworth Ludden on June 14, 1963. They were married until Allen's death in 1981. She died on December 31, 2021 in Brentwood, California U.S.A. at age 99.
Updated: March 1, 2022
Betty was the only child of Horace Logan White and Tess (Cachikis) White. She was born in Illinois but the family moved to Los Angeles CA when she was young. In the 1930 federal census, Betty was living with her father, age 36, and her mother, Tess, in Los Angeles CA. Betty was 8 years old and in school. They owned their home which was worth $10,000 In the 1940 federal census, Betty was 18 and still living with her parents in Los Angles. She had graduated high school but was still listed as going to school. Her father, Horace, was still a sales representative in the electric industry. In the 1950's, she produced and starred in her sitcom "Life with Elizabeth", the first woman to do so. That lead her being named honorary Mayor of Hollywood in 1955, Betty was married to Dick Barker (an Army Air forces aircraft pilot) for less than a year. In 1947, she married Lane Allen, a talent agent. That marriage last around 2 years and ended when he wanted her to give up show business and be a homemaker. Her last marriage was to Allen Ludden, most famously host of the tv gameshow "Password". They married on June 14, 1963 - their marriage lasted until his death on June 9th, 1981, from stomach cancer. From Wikipedia: "When asked by James Lipton on Inside The Actor's Studio that should Heaven exist, what would she like God to say to her when she walked through the Pearly gates, White replied: "Hello Betty. Here's Allen."
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Betty White
Most commonly known as
Betty Marion White
Full name
Betty Marion White Ludden
Other names or aliases
Brentwood, Los Angeles County, California United States 94513
Last known residence
Betty White was born on in Oak Park, Illinois
Betty White died on in Brentwood, Los Angeles County, California U.S.A.
old age/complications of a stroke she'd suffered 6 days before her passing
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US citizen - born in IL


Graduated high school - Beverly Hills High School


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Actress/comedian Singer

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Tireless advocate for animals

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Allen Ellsworth Ludden


Betty White

Married: June 14, 1963 - June 9, 1983
Cause of Separation: Allen's Death
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Betty White, a TV Fixture for Seven Decades, Is Dead at 99 Among the many highlights of a career that began in 1949 were star turns on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in the 1970s and “Saturday Night Live” in 2010. Betty White was best known as the manipulative and bawdy Sue Ann on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and as the naïve, scatterbrained Rose on “The Golden Girls.” Betty White was best known as the manipulative and bawdy Sue Ann on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and as the naïve, scatterbrained Rose on “The Golden Girls.”s By Richard Severo and Peter Keepnews Dec. 31, 2021, 3:00 p.m. ET Betty White, who created two of the most memorable characters in sitcom history, the nymphomaniacal Sue Ann Nivens on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and the sweet but dim Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls” — and who capped her long career with a comeback that included a triumphant appearance as the host of “Saturday Night Live” at the age of 88 — died on Friday. She was 99. Her agent, Jeff Witjas, confirmed the death to People magazine. Ms. White won five Primetime Emmys and one competitive Daytime Emmy — as well as a lifetime achievement Daytime Emmy in 2015 and a Los Angeles regional Emmy in 1952 — in a television career that spanned seven decades, and that the 2014 edition of “Guinness World Records” certified as the longest ever for a female entertainer. But her breakthrough came relatively late in life, with her work on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” from 1973 to 1977, for which she won two of her Emmys. As Sue Ann, the host of a household-hints show on the television station where Ms. Moore’s character worked, the dimpled Ms. White was annoyingly positive and upbeat, but also manipulative and bawdy — the sexpot next door, the girl who would have you believe she slept with entire Army brigades during World War II. Once, when someone asked her how she was feeling, Sue Ann replied cheerfully: “I didn’t sleep a wink all night. I feel wonderful.” She won another Emmy in 1986 for an entirely different kind of character: the naïve, scatterbrained Rose on “The Golden Girls,” which revolved around the lives of four older women sharing a house in Miami. Whereas Sue Ann knew everything there was to know about getting a man into bed, Rose got to the same place innocently, and by being just a wee bit off-center. Ms. White was the last surviving member of the show’s four stars. Estelle Getty died in 2008, Bea Arthur in 2009, and Rue McClanahan in 2010. Ms. White won her final Emmy in 2010 as an outstanding guest actress in a comedy series for hosting the Mother’s Day episode of “S.N.L.” She followed that appearance with a regular role on yet another sitcom, “Hot in Cleveland,” and then with a book contract and her own reality show. She was bigger than she had been in decades. But she didn’t see her resurgence as a comeback. “I’ve been working steadily for 63 years,” she said in an interview for the ABC News program “Nightline” in 2010. “But everybody says, ‘Oh, it’s such a renaissance.’ Maybe I went away and didn’t know it.” Ms. White was over 50 and already a television veteran when she first appeared on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” but her work there elevated her career to a new level. A comedy about a young, single television news producer in Minneapolis, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” was one of the most popular sitcoms of its day or any other, thanks to smart writing, Ms. Moore’s charismatic presence, and a high-caliber supporting cast. Even in the company of scene-stealing actors like Ms. Moore, Edward Asner' and Valerie Harper, Ms. White’s Sue Ann stood out. The character, introduced in the show’s fourth season, was conceived as cloying, calculating, and predatory, her deviousness always accompanied by a charming smile. The producers wanted a “Betty White type” to play the role, but they did not immediately ask Ms. White because she and Ms. Moore were close friends and the producers were afraid there would be damage to the friendship if she didn’t get the role, or didn’t want it. “They went through about 12 people and couldn’t find anybody sickening enough,” Ms. White told Modern Maturity magazine in 1998, “so they called me.” Betty Marion White was born on Jan. 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Ill., the only child of Horace and Tess (Cachikis) White. Her father was an electrical engineer, her mother a homemaker. When Betty was a toddler, the family moved to Los Angeles, where she grew up. At Beverly Hills High School, from which she graduated in 1939, she appeared in several student productions and even wrote her class’s graduation play, in which she had the lead role. During World War II she served in the American Women’s Voluntary Services and drove a “PX truck” delivering soap, toothpaste, and candy to soldiers manning the gun emplacements the government had established in the hills of Santa Monica and Hollywood. She also met and married a P-38 pilot, Dick Barker. That marriage lasted less than a year; when Ms. White wrote an autobiography, “Here We Go Again,” in 1995, she mentioned the marriage but did not mention his name. Toward the end of the war, she became involved in the Bliss-Hayden Little Theater, run by two Hollywood character actors, Lela Bliss and Harry Hayden, and designed to give young people a chance to perform in front of an audience. Her first performance there was in “Dear Ruth,” a comedy about a girl who pretends to be her older sister. It was seen by Lane Allen, an actor turned agent, who encouraged Ms. White to pursue an acting career. She and Mr. Allen were later married, but that union also ended in divorce. Ms. White began her radio career by saying one word on the popular comedy “The Great Gildersleeve.” The word was “Parkay,” the name of the margarine sponsoring the show. That led to bit parts in 1940s radio staples like “Blondie” and “This Is Your F.B.I.” She broke into television in 1949 on a local talk show called “Al Jarvis’s Hollywood on Television.” When Mr. Jarvis left the show, she succeeded him as host. She had a few television shows of her own in the 1950s, including two sitcoms and a variety show (which she produced herself, and on which she drew both praise and criticism for featuring a Black tap dancer, Arthur Duncan, as a regular, a highly unusual move for the time). But none of those shows stayed on the air for long, and by the early 1960s, she was best known as a very busy freelance guest. Game shows were her specialty: She appeared on “To Tell the Truth,” “I’ve Got a Secret,” “The Match Game,” “What’s My Line?” and, most notably, “Password,” whose host, Allen Ludden, she married in 1963. Image Ms. White and her husband, Allen Ludden, at a fund-raising party for the Los Angeles Zoo in 1979. Ms. White had a longstanding interest in animal welfare. Ms. White and her husband, Allen Ludden, at a fund-raising party for the Los Angeles Zoo in 1979. Ms. White had a longstanding interest in animal welfare. Ms. White and Mr. Ludden remained married until his death in 1981. They had no children together, but she helped him raise his three children by a previous marriage, David, Martha, and Sarah. Information on survivors was not immediately available. After “The Golden Girls” ended its seven-year run in 1992, Ms. White remained a familiar and welcome presence on television. She reprised the role of Rose Nylund on a short-lived spinoff, “The Golden Palace,” and made guest appearances on “Ally McBeal,” “That ’70s Show,” “Boston Legal,” “Community” and many other series. From 2006 to 2009 she had a recurring role on the daytime soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Ms. White, who was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1995, continued acting on television well into her 90s. She occasionally showed up on the big screen as well, most recently in “The Proposal” (2009) and “You Again” (2010). She was given a lifetime achievement award by the Screen Actors Guild in 2010. In 2018 she was the subject of a PBS documentary, “Betty White: First Lady of Television.” The title, she joked, might have meant that she was the first woman ever on television. But the most surprising high-profile role she played in her later years was the host of “Saturday Night Live” in May 2010, a booking that came about largely because of a spirited social-media campaign. Ms. White’s appearance — in which she gleefully participated in sketches suffused with the show’s trademark irreverent, often off-color humor — gave “S.N.L.” its highest ratings in a year and a half. That same year she also returned to prime-time series television as one of the stars of the TV Land sitcom “Hot in Cleveland.” Her performance on that show as a feisty caretaker earned her yet another Emmy nomination. (She lost to Julie Bowen of “Modern Family.”) “Hot in Cleveland” ran for five seasons. In 2012 “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers,” a hidden-camera show in which older people play pranks on younger people, made its debut on NBC. In addition to being the host, Ms. White was an executive producer. In 2011, she published two books. The first, “If You Ask Me (And of Course, You Won’t),” was a collection of essays and anecdotes about her life and career. The second, “Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo,” was about her love of animals and her long association with the Los Angeles Zoo. Ms. White had a longstanding interest in animal welfare. In the early 1970s, she produced and starred in a syndicated talk show, “The Pet Set,” in which celebrities talked about their pets. She also devoted time and money to organizations like the American Humane Association and the Fund for Animals. In 2006 she was honored by the Los Angeles Zoo, which named her “ambassador to the animals” and unveiled a plaque in her honor. “Being remembered for Rose and Sue Ann and the others would be wonderful,” Ms. White told The Chicago Sun-Times in 1990. “But I also want to be remembered as a lady who helped the animals.” As late as 2019, Ms. White was still doing voice-over work, most notably as a toy tiger named Bitey White in the animated film “Toy Story 4.” One of her last in-person appearances was on the 2018 Emmy Awards telecast. “It’s incredible that you can stay in a career this long and still have people put up with you,” she told the assembled TV luminaries, who gave her a prolonged standing ovation. “I wish they did that at home.”

1922 - 2021 World Events

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Betty's lifetime.

In 1922, in the year that Betty White was born, from October 22nd - 29th, 3,000 men of Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party marched on Rome. (Mussolini waited in Milan, he did not participate in the March.) The day after the March Mussolini went to Rome and the King of Italy handed over power to Mussolini, in part because he was supported by the military, the business class, and the right-wing factions of Italy.

In 1939, Betty was 17 years old when in May, Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated film, reached a total international gross of $6.5 million which made it (to then) the most successful sound film of all time. First released in December 1937, it was originally dubbed "Disney's Folly" but the premiere received a standing ovation from the audience. At the 11th Academy Awards in February 1939, Walt Disney won an Academy Honorary Award - a full-size Oscar statuette and seven miniature ones - for Snow White.

In 1949, she was 27 years old when on April 4th, NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was established. Twelve nations originally signed the North Atlantic Treaty - the United States, Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Iceland, Canada, and Portugal. Greece, Turkey, and West Germany later joined. Today, there are 26 nations in NATO.

In 1967, when she was 45 years old, between June 5th and 10th, Israeli and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria fought what came to be called the "Six-Day War". The hostilities began when Israel launched "preemptive" strikes against Egypt, destroying nearly its entire air force. It ended with Israel occupying the Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and West Bank.

In 1980, Betty was 58 years old when on April 24th, a rescue attempt was begun in the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The attempt failed and 8 US servicemen were killed. Eight helicopters had been sent for the mission, but only 5 arrived in operating condition., Since the military had advised that the mission be aborted if there were fewer than 6 helicopters, President Carter stopped it. Upon leaving, a helicopter collided with a transport plane and the men were killed.

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