Happy birthday Betty White. Legend. Icon. Diva. Ninety-nine years young and still ticking. White began her television career in 1939; her wit, charm and prodigious talent have helped America survive existential catastrophes from World War II to Vietnam to the year 2020, the Annus horribilis that we thought would never end.
For 80 years Betty has been a mainstay in the realm of entertainment, in the 50’s she hosted and produced her own daily talk/variety show, The Betty White Show, in the 60’s she was a ubiquitous presence on network game shows, in the 70’s she had us in stitches as the man-hungry Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Show, in the 80’s and 90’s she was the comedic linchpin in The Golden Girls, in the 2000s she made dozens of appearances on the soap opera The Bold and Beautiful (is anyone more bold and beautiful than our queen?), and in the 2010’s she played the outrageous role of Elka Ostrovsky in Hot in Cleveland.
White never achieved the superstar status of a Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna or Oprah Winfrey but after eight decades of being in the entertainment industry she’s now the brightest star in the galaxy.
And when the Grim Reaper finally catches up to her, like he does with all of us, her bright spirit will continue to shine in our hearts and in our minds.
Happy 99th Birthday Betty White!