Betty White


Aayan Khan, Editor

On the eve of the new year, the world lost one of its oldest and finest gems: the great Betty White. While at home, White died from a stroke she had gotten on Christmas Day. Although she didn’t have any children of her own, White had a world of fans who loved her for her light, gracefulness, and elegance. With the passing of Betty White, Hollywood not only mourns the passing of one of Hollywood’s greatest, but an era from the past that will never be forgotten. 

Betty Marion White Ludden was born on January 17, 1922 in Oak Park, Illinois. She was an only child born to Christine Tess, a homemaker, and Horace Logan White, a lighting company executive from Michigan. The family moved to nearby Alhambra, California, before moving to main Los Angeles during the Great Depression. White married three times, her last to Allen Ludden, a television host and personality, whom she was married with for 18 years. Ludden died in 1981, and White didn’t remarry after, saying “Once you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?”.  

From a young age, White was interested in wildlife, an interest that she pursued even after fame when setting up the Betty White Wildlife Fund, which has raised millions of dollars to protect and preserve wildlife around the world. Furthermore, White aspired to be a forest ranger, but due to women not being allowed at the time, she moved her sight onto writing, then performing after leading in a graduation play at her school. From there, she pursued her desire to be an actress and ended up making one of the greatest and longest acting careers of all time.

The actress started off as starring in small television shows, as well as being a radio host. White soon gained popularity and was given titles like “First Lady of Television” and the “Mayor of Hollywood.” She was prevalent in numerous game shows, as well as making appearances in several shows and movies. She won an Emmy award for Outstanding Guest Actress in her role on Saturday Night Live. White holds the Guinness World Record for longest TV career (female), displaying her longevity and talent on the big screen for about 82 years. A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame deservedly holds White’s name, forever setting in stone a tremendous career by a tremendous woman. 

Aside from being an actress, White also was an advocate for many causes, including animal welfare and opposing racial injustice. White worked with several foundations and organizations to better bring awareness and care to the issue that is how we take care of the animals in the world. Furthermore, White gained heavy criticism from Southern states in 1954, when she had Arthur Duncan, a Black tap dancer, on her variety shows, but stood up for him and kept him on the show. 

So, when looking back at the great life of Betty White, we see how her life was exemplified and lived out by her own values, bringing a new perspective and era to Hollywood and the world. Betty won’t ever be forgotten by those who love her and will be forever remembered as one of the greatest actresses of all time.