Happy 91st birthday today to the unstoppable, unflappable, invincible comedian Betty White, who has had a career that has spanned over 60 years and through countless generations who have looked up to her benevolent demeanor, her fruitful and sincere championing of animal rights, and her comedic style that has made millions upon millions of fans laugh at all the talents that she has to offer.
Like Lucille Ball or Carol Burnett, Betty White’s career has been almost unbreakable. Everything she does or has done has been met with somewhat success; her characters on the old classic television shows The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls have become the stuff of comic legend and netted her various Emmy awards, not to mention her appearances on countless game shows, like Match Game, the various incarnations of the Pyramid franchise, Tattletales, and especially Password and Password Plus. Most versions of which were hosted by her late husband, the congenial, assured, and Brylcreemed master of ceremonies, Allen Ludden. Her allegiance and unabashed wholehearted love for Ludden was so strong that after his passing in 1981 from stomach cancer, White never remarried again, still cherishing the memory of Ludden to this very day (something she’s stated in recent interviews). Currently she is still going strong on television, as evidenced by the hit show Hot in Cleveland, which airs on TV Land.
White seems to have a charm which radiates from the cameras to the screens right into the psyches of her fan base, which is as massive and equal (especially currently) to any A-list celebrity or musical success one can think of. Always shirking controversy, the pitfalls and countless traps of success and fame that can sometimes be a harrowing by-product of the Hollywood machine, Betty White’s graceful poise and charm lies on the fact of her sly wink and friendly to the max attitude and warmth. We all feel like we know her when we watch her, we feel comfortable in her presence. There seems to be a constant sort of influx of good energy when she’s on screen, regardless of the role she’s playing. It’s no secret why there was such a positive brouhaha a few years ago when it seemed all of America lobbied to get her to host the long running NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. Well into her 80s at the time, her appearance on the program was so loved and successful, it became headline news the following week, cementing her legend and status even more so.
Other than cinema (save for a few appearances in various movies, like the comedy The Proposal and lending her voice to the animated hit The Lorax among other films) and the music industry, she’s tackled many facets and forms of entertainment, and has for the most part always seemed to hit that bullseye again and again. One would be extremely hard pressed to find any other dabbler in any form of media who has had the consistency and high standard success level attained by Betty White.
So today is a day of celebration for the birthday girl, as Betty White keeps on keepin’ on, is still going, is still loved in the public eye, an eye that shines blindingly bright for her, a light that never needed changing, never burnt out, a light that seemingly, will shine forever. Happy birthday, Betty, keep those laughs coming! In this day and age, we need them now more than ever.