SPOTLIGHT ON ACTRESS BETTY WHITE
FUNNY AND NEW AT AGE 92
Talented and spirited actress Betty White is Humor Beam's undisputed octogenarian Queen of Comedy, and she shows no signs of slowing down. She's funny and new at age 92.
Perhaps best known for her award-winning TV roles in the 1950s as a sex-crazed
happy homemaker on the Mary Tyler Moore show and naive Rose Mylund of
Golden Girls, White's popularity has soared and she turned 92 Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014
in demand for prime roles in TV shows, commercials and movies.
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A-TEAM FOR ANIMALS
White is a long-time supporter and volunteer with the Los Angeles Zoo, and a big advocate of animal rights. She's written about the zoo, Betty and Friends, and has received the Humane Award from the American Veterinary Medical Association for the work she has done on behalf of animal welfare. She also once produced and hosted Pet Set, a TV show spotlighting celebrities and their pets.
At an appearance in September 2012 for a sold-out lecture series sponsored by "Friends for Life," a Houston-based no-kill animal shelter, White told the audience she's always been a friend of all creatures. She recalled growing up in Pasadena, California and witnessing a neighbor girl playing too roughly with a puppy.
"I bit her," White told the crowd of 2,200 at Houston's Wortham Center. "My parents weren't too happy."
The American Humane Association also honored White in September, presenting her with the National Humanitarian Medal and the Legacy Award for working to protect and improve the quality of life for animals.
BUSY PREVIOUS YEAR
Born Jan. 17,1922 In Oak Park, Illinois, White celebrated her 90th birthday in 2012 at a Hollywood roast hosted by Jon Stewart, and she started the year by winning th prestigious SAG award for Best Actress In a Comedy Series for her role in Hot In Cleveland.
"I'm thrilled of course, but this nomination belongs to four of us," White said, referring to the other women in the show. "I'm not going to let them keep this," she quipped, holding the statuette award. "I'll let them see it."
One of White's proudest moments was in 2010 when she was proclaimed an honorary U.S. Forest Service ranger. During an official ceremony, White said being a forest ranger and protecting wildlife was a childhood dream.
PITHY PUNCH LINES
Another highlight was painting pictures with Koko, a gorilla born in the San Francisco Zoo, but who lives with a member of the nonprofit Gorilla Foundation.
"All creatures must learn to coexist," says White. "That's why the brown bear and the field mouse can share their lives in harmonyof course, they can't mate or the mice would explode."
BIG BOOMER RATINGS
White got a boomer boost in 2010 for becoming the oldest comedian to host Saturday Night Live. When asked about what she thought of the show's sponsor, social networking website Facebook, White deadpanned: "When I first heard about Facebook and what it was, I thought, 'what a huge waste of time.' At my age, if I want to get in touch with old friends. I need a ouija board." On the site's popularity with over a half-million subscribers, White said: "500,000 people, that's more than I've dated."
On a late night appearance with David Letterman, she quipped that sipping vodka was "kind of a hobby," a cue for the showman to pull out a bottle of Grey Goose and pour two drinks on the rocks. They downed the booze to wild applause.
of Fame Star
LIKES POKER AND PUZZLES
White says she keeps her mind sharp by playing poker, doing crossword puzzles, and being a mentor to young co-stars on her sets. Though she is an octogenarian and pays attention to her balance so as not to fall, she still lives in a two-story house near Carmel, CA., and manages the stairs.
Her husband of 19 years, TV show host Allen Ludden, died in 1981 and she has a star adjoining his on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She never remarried and her current companion is a golden retriever and trained service dog who stretches across the bed at night and sleeps with her.
"I wouldn't disturb him," says White, who gets up at 6 a.m. each morning to prepare for the day's activities. "I'm not too comfortable and don't sleep very well, but he's fine."