Remembering our Golden Girl Betty White


America’s Sweetheart: Betty White in the beginning of her acting career (left) and in her most famous role, Rose Nyland, in “The Golden Girls” (right). Photo retrieved from IMDb.

Samantha Stokes, Co-Managing Editor

One of our oldest actresses and America’s sweetheart Betty White has passed away just 17 days shy of her 100th birthday. White, an Ill. native, was known best for her roles as Rose Nyland on “The Golden Girls” and Sue Ann Nivens on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

White, affectionately called the “first lady of television,” began her acting career in 1949 as a co-host of “Hollywood on Television,” shortly after her successful radio career. Just two years later, she was nominated for her first of many Emmy awards for “best actress.”

In 1973, White got her role on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which went on to be one of her most recognizable roles on television. She played Sue Ann Nivens, a rather cynical and brash character, on the show. For many, it is hard to think of her playing such a character since her stint as Rose Nyland, America’s ditzy sweetheart, on “The Golden Girls.”

Later in White’s career, she starred in another all-female cast for her show “Hot in Cleveland.” She played a spunky lady named Ella Ostrovksy, who acted as the homeowner and the crazy mother-like character of the group. She was originally only supposed to make an appearance on the pilot episode of the show, but her charm gained her the invitation to stay for the entire series!

65 wonderful years after her first television appearance, White was named the longest running female entertainer on television in 2014 by Guinness World Records. In that time, White had accrued eight Emmy awards, 3 American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and even a Grammy for “Best Spoken Word Album.”

White has been a staple of American television for over 70 years, and her loss has been felt across all media. Twitter has banded together to pay condolences to the late actress, both celebrities and regular users alike. 

The documentary that she was filming for her 100th birthday, “Betty White: A Celebration,” was released exclusively in theaters on Jan. 17, what would have been her 100th birthday. The documentary shows White’s last moments in the spotlight, and White remarks that she was thankful to have lived for so long and still felt great.

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