Celebrity

Betty White Turns 97 And Only Has One Wish For Her Birthday

Angela George

She will only turn 97 once, so Betty White is making sure to let everyone know what her one and only wish for this milestone is.

The legendary actress and comedian celebrates her birthday on January 17, and this year, she's not asking much at all - just a call from the iconic Robert Redford, according to her rep.

The Golden Girls star has never kept her crush or desire to collaborate with the actor a secret. In fact, she's brought it up in several interviews over the years, and even though Redford has yet to reciprocate the love, she's not giving up.

"Robert Redford. That's my standard answer for everything," she told ESPN a few years ago while answering a question about who would be her perfect date. "If someone says, 'How was your day?', I say, 'Robert Redford.'"

On her birthday last year, White had the same wish, but she admitted that no matter how hard she tries to get him to acknowledge her, "it never works."

There's still time for White's ultimate wish to come true, but if it does happen, she may not know how to react.

“If I ever did meet him I’d be so embarrassed,” she told Parade magazine.

While an unrequited crush can be heartbreaking, at least White has lots and lots of people who love her and jump at the chance to wish her a happy birthday.

In addition to basking in all the sweet well-wishes, White, who has the longest television career of any female entertainer, plans to have a low-key celebration with her close friends and family.

"Her celebrations are easy: buffet food, a professional piano player, and just a lovely vibe," a close friend of the Hollywood icon told Closer Weekly. "She has her chef cook — Betty loves Italian food — and just likes to sit with friends, sing show tunes, and have fun. She’s always been low-key about birthdays."

As for what life is like as a nonagenarian, the friend revealed that "mobility can be a challenge for her," but her humor is still intact and "her mind is sharp as ever."

White apparently keeps her brain young by doing puzzles as well as playing sudoku and poker. She also "keeps up with all the latest shows and remains plugged into pop culture."

Brain games aren't White's only secret to longetivity, in an interview last year, she said having a positive outlook on life is key.

"I know it sounds corny, but I try to see the funny side and the upside, not the downside," the Boston Legal alum said. “I get bored with people who complain about this or that. It’s such a waste of time. Enjoy life. Accentuate the positive, not the negative. It sounds so trite, but a lot of people will pick out something to complain about, rather than say, ‘Hey, that was great!’ It’s not hard to find great stuff if you look."

Happy birthday, Betty White!

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.