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8 Things You Wish You Knew About Your Favorite 'Golden Girl'

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Betty White may have just turned 96, but she has the heart of a young adult.

Here are eight things you never knew about your favorite Golden Girl!

1. Her name is actually Betty. It's never been Elizabeth.

Betty was cool from the get-go. Her parents didn't like all the names that came from Elizabeth, like Beth, Liza, Ellie. She's simply Betty.

2. She's been married three times.

Betty married and divorced pilot Dick Barker in 1945. Let's hope it wasn't because his name was too similar to his personality.

In 1947, she met actor Lane Allen, whom she divorced in 1949, probably because he pushed her to quit show biz. Thankfully she didn't, or else Rose Nylund would have been played by someone else!

Betty didn't marry again until 1963, when she met game show host Allen Ludden, who passed away from stomach cancer in 1981.

3. Betty first auditioned for the role of Blanche on The Golden Girls.

The producers of Golden Girls looked at Rue McClanahan and Betty White's past characters to get a good feel of which character they would play best. Betty had prior experience of playing a promiscuous party girl, and Rue could be that sweet, naive country character because she's done that before. The director thought long and hard, so he asked the two to switch roles in the audition, and the rest is history.

4. If her acting career didn't pan out, she probably would have been a zookeeper.

Betty is a huge animal lover and activist, if you haven't guessed already by the way she treats her dogs. She's donated "tens of thousands of dollars" over the past 40 years to the Farm Animal Reform Movement and Friends of Animals group. She's also a Los Angeles Zoo board member. In a 2014 interview, she confessed that she would, "hands down," be a zookeeper.

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