After conducting the proper research for this story, I feel a deep shame for having loved Betty White for banal reasons such as her being funny and cute and Rose. Betty White is the shit for like a hundred interesting reasons! Today is her 95th birthday and it’s time we really marinated on her. The mysterious goblins who write IMDB cite her “short stature,” “raspy, sultry voice” and “sparkling blue eyes” as her trademarks. Creepy. I would like to offer the following suggestions as replacements:
1. She’s incredibly accomplished: White’s regarded as a TV pioneer, has won a ton of awards, has had a steady Hollywood career for 75 years, has authored seven books and is a long-time dedicated animal activist. Could stop right here but I won’t!
She’s broken like a million records:
– She was the first woman to produce a sitcom (which is why, in 1995, she received the honorary title of “Mayor of Hollywood”).
– She’s the only woman to have received an Emmy in all performing comedic categories.
– In 2010, at age 88, she was the oldest person to ever host Saturday Night Live.
– In 2013, she was said to have the longest television career for a female entertainer.
3. Her shit is acclaimed. Her two most famous sitcoms, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Golden Girls, were included in The Writers Guild of America’s “101 Best Written TV Series of All Time.”
4. She loves animals, but like, more than all of us. Whereas I merely follow 90 dogs and cats on Instagram, Betty White is a sponsor of the Farm Animal Reform Movement and Friends of Animals and has worked with the Morris Animal Foundation and L.A. Zoo for almost half a century now. THAT’S 50 YEARS. She even turned down a role in As Good as it Gets because she didn’t approve of the treatment of a dog.
Please see: above art.
5. She never gives up on her dreams! In 2010, Smokey the Bear and the USDA Forest Service fulfilled Betty’s lifelong dream by making her an honorary forest ranger. Seriously though.
6. She’s re-written the rules about what women can be in their senior years. Some quotes from her IMDB:
– “I may be a senior, but so what? I’m still hot.”
– “Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren’t going to get rid of me that way.”
– “I think it’s your mental attitude. So many of us start dreading age in high school and that’s a waste of a lovely life. ‘Oh… I’m 30, oh, I’m 40, oh, 50.’ Make the most of it.”
I’m having the time of my life and the fact that I’m still working – how lucky can you get? I’m 90 years old and still able to work as much as I do. That’s a privilege.”
– “The bottom line is, I’m blessed with good health. On top of that, I don’t go around thinking ‘Oh, I’m 90, I better do this or I better do that.’ I’m just Betty. I’m the same Betty that I’ve always been. Take it or leave it.”
7. She’s not petty. Of her Golden Girls co-star Bea Arthur she once said, “Bea was not that fond of me. I don’t know what I ever did but she was not that thrilled with me. But I loved Bea and I admired her.” Inspiring.
Her Twitter is high-quality and selfless:
Nothing better than sharing a drink with a fan – if you see me out at the club, just tell the bartender to put it on my tab #DrinksAreOnMe
— Betty White (@BettyMWhite) July 13, 2016
…plus her selfies are cute, altruistic and follow the FTC’s sponsorship guidelines:
— Betty White (@BettyMWhite) July 12, 2016
She’s funny as hell.
The above was her acceptance speech when the Screen Actors Guild awarded her the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. It’s so funny and you must watch the whole thing.
She’s constantly not wrong…….
“I didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time.”
“Animals don’t lie. Animals don’t criticize. If animals have moody days, they handle them better than humans do.”
“I’m in the acting business. That’s the ego business.”
“I don’t know where I learned elephants like their tongues slapped. Whatever turns you on.”
“Hot dogs and Red Vines and potato chips and French fries are my favorite foods.”
Have the happiest birthday Betty White! Will try my hardest to track you down for a drink, and not just because I’m cheap.
Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images.