Betty White is a national treasure. Her spunky personality and feisty comebacks have helped her remain a household name for eight decades - and her talents in Hollywood only scratch the surface of the wonder she is. In her almost century of life, White has accomplished some great feats in both her professional and personal life. And learning more about her only made us love her more.
- Photo: The Betty White Show / CBS1
She Sacrificed Her Show To Invite A Black Guest Star
With her career taking off in the 1950s, White was given her own TV show: Life With Elizabeth, or perhaps better known as The Betty White Show. This short-lived sitcom aired alongside other beloved shows like I Love Lucy, but its run was cut short when criticism came pouring in after the show welcomed Arthur Duncan, a Black tap dancer and entertainer. He appeared on three episodes of the sitcom, which were heavily criticized by viewers in the South.
When White was asked about the issue some viewers were having with Duncan's presence on the show, she simply stated, "I'm sorry. Live with it." The show unfortunately sided with the backlash and was canceled after only two years.Awesome fact?
She Volunteered To Deliver Military Supplies During WWII
In addition to being a Hollywood hero of sorts, White was also a help in WWII. During the early days in her career when she was struggling somewhat to find work, she decided to put her aspirations of stardom on hold when the US officially entered the war.
White volunteered for the American Women's Voluntary Services, where she transported military supplies throughout California. She may have even lent her talents as a comedian and aspiring host to the cause by performing for soldiers before they were deployed.
Of her time volunteering, White said, "It was a strange time and out of balance with everything."Awesome fact?
She's Been Nominated For An Emmy In Six Different Decades
Over the course of her eight decades in Hollywood, it comes as no surprise that White has received some of the highest accolades any actor can win. In fact, she's been nominated for a total of 21 Emmys and one honor. Throughout her career, she's been nominated for her roles as a supporting actress, lead actress, guest actress, and host for many of the projects she's been involved with.
Of these 21 Emmy nominations, White has won 5 for her work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, The John Larroquette Show, and Saturday Night Live. As an absolute powerhouse in the comedy entertainment business, she was also inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame in 1995. Clearly White has had a long and fruitful career, but receiving this number of nominations has put her in a league of her own. She's actually received nominations for an Emmy in six different decades, starting with her first in 1951.Awesome fact?
She Holds The Record For Longest TV Career Of Any Actress
At just 17 years old, White's career in the entertainment business started. She was fresh out of high school when she landed her first gig as an assistant at a local TV station in 1939, but she got her big break when she starred in Life With Elizabeth - which she acted in and produced. She then went on to star in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and later in the hit sitcom The Golden Girls. Her acting career continues to amaze, with one of her most recent roles being a voice actor in 2019's Toy Story 4.
Since first coming to the scene in the late 1930s, White has been a force. And with a career this long, it's no wonder she's holding a Guinness Book of World Records record for the longest TV career in history. Only one actor comes close to her 82-year career, and that's Bruce Forsyth, whose career also started in 1939 but came to an end in 2015.Awesome fact?