Happy 90th Birthday Betty White!
Happy 90th Birthday Betty White! Today, January 17, the real Lady B hits the 90th marker and America couldn't love her more. Betty White really is an anomaly. In the nine decades she has been alive, media has transformed and with it she has evolved from radio to film to television and now to the Internet. And she refuses to quit. Last night NBC celebrated White's milestone birthday and previewed her upcoming show, Betty White's Off Their Rockers, which is like Punk'd with retirees.
White began her acting career while still in her teens; she's been acting longer than doing anything else. She's a seven-time Emmy Award winner and has received 20 Emmy nominations. She's an author, with several titles under her belt, and this past year was nominated for a Grammy for the audio recording of her last book, If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't). She is also an animal rights activist and serves on the board of directors for the Los Angeles Zoo. Betty White is amazing.
To celebrate the lady who's still got it, Art Attack's 10 Best of Betty.
10. Betty White, the model.
It is common knowledge that White started her career on the radio, but not as widely known was that White also did some (nude) modeling early on. She was quite the looker.
9. Life with Elizabeth
Life with Elizabeth was White's first starring role in a sitcom. The plot was simple; White and her husband, played by Del Moore, constantly found themselves in zany, suburban predicaments. The show only lasted for two seasons, but sealed White's fate as a comic personality.
8. The Bold and the Beautiful
Yes, Betty White the soap actress. In 2007, White had a recurring role as Ann Douglas, the long lost mother of The B&B's mainstay Stephanie Forrester. White can even do melodrama.
7. Lake Placid
White can even do horror! Lake Placid is a gore-fest that hit theaters in 1999, revolving around the eating habits of a 30-foot-long, man-eating alligator. As the story goes, White's character had been feeding the deadly lizard after it followed her husband home. Shortly thereafter, the croc ate her husband. This movie sounds insane, but it received decent reviews and made beaucoup bucks, enough that several sequels were produced (without White).
6. Tournament of Roses host
You know that voice! From 1956 to 1975, White was co-host of the Tournament of Roses Parade. According to a 1975 People magazine interview with White:
...NBC axed Betty after 19 years as color commentator at Pasadena's Rose Parade. "On New Year's Day I just sat home feeling wretched, watching someone else do my parade," she wails. (She worked for CBS for the 1976 parade to round out 20 years, then quit for good.)
5. Ellen Harper Jackson on Mama's Family
White portrayed the snobby, rich sister of Carol Burnett's Eunice, both daughters to "Mama." If Eunice was water, then Ellen was vinegar. The two sisters couldn't have been more different, which made for some hysterical interactions between them. White left Mama's Family after it went into syndication.
4. Snickers Commercial
During the 2010 Super Bowl, White made commercial history in Snickers's new ad campaign featuring the slogan "You're Not You When You're Hungry." The spot was such a hit, it won the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter
3. The Comeback Kid
There is no denying that there has been a Betty White renaissance over the past decade. You can't change the channel without seeing the actress or open a magazine without stumbling upon her smiling face. It's almost Betty White overkill, but we say keep doing what you're doing, Betts. And what has she been doing? Everything. She currently stars in the sitcom Hot in Cleveland , stole scenes in The Proposal , hosted the highest-rated Saturday Night Live in years, has shown up in Community , 30 Rock , The Middle , Chelsea Lately , in addition to stints on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and too many Hallmark/Lifetime holiday-themed movies to mention. Oh yeah, and she started her own clothing line.
2. The Happy Homemaker on the Mary Tyler Moore Show
White came into her own as an actress and a comedian on The Mary Tyler Moore Show as the Happy Homemaker, Sue Ann Nivens. White showed the breadth of her acting skills as the dual-personality Nivens, nauseatingly upbeat on the surface, but with a twisted, man-eating side hidden away.
1. Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls
There will never be another Rose Nylund. Naive to a fault, nicer than pudding and the kind of friend you just love to make fun of. Rose rounded out one of the best ensemble sitcoms in television history. Rose Nylund made St. Olaf, Minnesota, a place we all wanted to visit one day, just so we could start our own stories with, "Back in St. Olaf..."
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