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15 Things You Didn't Know About Betty White

Betty White is a national treasure.

She is such a treasure that Demetrios Hrysikos started a charity drive to protect Betty White from the curse of 2016. He raised over $9,000.00 for the cause and donated it to the Spartanburg Little Theater.

Thankfully, she made it with the rest of us into 2017. In celebration of her 95th birthday, take a look at these 15 facts you might not have known about the fabulous Betty White!

1. Her name really is Betty. Not Elizabeth.

Little Betty White was born on January 17th, 1922 in Oak Park, Illinois. Her full name: Betty Marion White. According to her autobiograhy, Her mother, Christine Tess (née) Cachikis and father Horace Logan White were not fans of the nicknames for 'Elizabeth,' so they named her Betty.

2. She's A Guinness World Record Holder

In 2014, Betty was awarded the title of Longest TV Career for an Entertainer (Female). She's been performing in show business for 70 years!

3. No one knows where exactly she made her debut in 1939

Although it was a life-changing event, Betty can't recall exactly on what TV show she made her showbiz debut! In the Guinness Book of World Records, she does recall the moment though:

"I danced on an experimental TV show, the first on the west coast, in downtown Los Angeles. I wore my high school graduation dress and our Beverly Hills High student body president, Harry Bennett, and I danced the 'Merry Widow Waltz.'"


4. World War II put the breaks on her career

She shelved her dreams of Hollywood stardom, to serve her country during the Second World War. She joined the american Women's Voluntary Services and spent her days delivering supplies.

5. She launched her first hit sitcom in the early 1950s

Betty produced her own vehicle, Life With Elizabeth, and developed it alongside writer-producer George Tibbles (Dennis The Menace, Leave It To Beaver, The Munsters).

In 1951, the show earned Betty her first Emmy nomination. Today, she has 21 and counting.

6. Betty White LOVES Parades

Betty hosted NBC's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with Lorne Greene from 1962-1971 and for 20 years, she was the color commentator for NBC's annual Tournament of Roses Parade. But, NBC decided to pull Betty from their parade because of her growing fame on CBS's The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

7. She's been married 3 times (GO BETTY!)

She married her first husband, Dick Barker in 1945, but after four months on a rural Ohio chicken farm, she filed for divorce and headed back to Los Angeles.

She then married agent Lane Allen in 1947, but divorced him in 1949 when he tried to push her into quitting show biz. It wasn't until 1963 that she fell in love with and married game show host Allen Ludden.

8. Betty and Allen met when she was a contestant on Password

Audiences loved Betty White's appearances on the game show circuit, so it's no surprise that she charmed Password host, Allen Ludden in 1961. Although Betty initially said no to Ludden's proposal, Ludden's patience paid off. He wore her engagement ring around his neck until she changed her mind.

Their Hollywood Walk Of Fame stars are side-by-side. The happy couple remained together until he passed away in 1981.

9. She auditioned for the role of Blanche on The Golden Girls

Originally, Betty auditioned to portray Blanche, the promiscuous party girl. The character was similar to lusty Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. So producers thought it'd be a cinch.

But, director, Jay Sandrich wanted to break away from type casting, so he had Betty and Vivina Harmon swap roles. We're so glad they did!

10. Betty would have been a Zookeeper.

Seriously, can she be any COOLER?

Betty tells Guinness World Records that she would have been a zookeeper - "hands down." She supports the Farm Animal Reform Movement, the Friends of Animals group and she's a member of the Los Angeles Zoo board.

11. She gave up a role because of animal cruelty

She was originally slotted to play the role of Beverly Connelly in As Good As It Gets, but turned it down because of a questionable scene with a dog.

She explained that she couldn't bring herself to play the role, knowing that someone might see what the anti-hero does to the dog and think it's a good idea. She explained on the Joy Behar Show, "All I could think of was all the people out there watching that movie … and if there's a dog in the building that's barking or they don't like—boom! They do it."

12. Facebook is responsible for Betty White on SNL

A 2010 Facebook campaign of nearly a million fans got so much media attention that SNL executive producer, Lorne Michaels, gladly made it happen. She was 88 years old when she set a new SNL record - she was the oldest SNL host ever.

13. She's the oldest person to earn an Emmy nomination

Betty earned her 21st Emmy nod (and third in a row) in 2014 for Outstanding Host of a Reality or Reality-Competition Program. She was 92 years old at the time and she still holds the record for the longest span between Emmy nominations.

14. She's got a mad sweet tooth!

Her co-stars from Hot in Cleveland confirm that she pretty much lives on hot dogs, french fries and Diet Coke. In 2011, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick told US weekly that she loves junk food and eats "red licorice, like, ridiculously a lot."

15. She think's Facebook's a drag.

In her SNL monologue, Betty gets real with us about social media and we totally agree.  "Facebook just sounds like a drag," she said "in my day seeing pictures of peoples vacations was considered a punishment."


Stay real, Betty White!

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