Betty White’s best moments from ‘Golden Girls,’ TV, comedy and more

December 31, 2021
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Just a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday, TV pioneer and longtime actress Betty White died at 99 Friday morning,her agent and friend Jeff Witjas confirmed to USA TODAY. The iconic comedian had a popular presence on and offscreen, leading to dozens of heartfelt and memorable moments. 

White, born Jan.17, 1922, was one of the most respected women in Hollywood and her star power shined through her decades-long career in acting. Her most notable role – Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls” – is still heavily influential in pop culture today.

The A-lister got her start in TV in the 1930s before landing a role in the “Life of Elizabeth” in the 1950s. She went on to star in many sitcoms including “The Mary Tyler Show” where she won her first Emmy.

‘Our national treasure’:Ryan Reynolds, Reese Witherspoon mourn legendary star Betty White

With a Guinness World Record and dozens of other accolades, here’s a look back at some of her greatest moments:

Lands national TV series role and ‘Mayor of Hollywood’

White kicked off her career in television in the 1930s before landing the leading role in the American sitcom “The Life of Elizabeth.” The show aired for two seasons from 1953 to 1955 before being canceled after 65 episodes.

The series solidified her position in TV business and in 1955 she was dubbed the “Mayor of Hollywood,” an honorary position that used to be appointed by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

White wins first Emmy for ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’

The critically-acclaimed sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” landed White her first Emmy in 1975 for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series. She won the same award again in 1976.

Adam and Eve skit on ‘The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson’

In 1979, White, who had been a regular guest on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” starred in a skit along with Carson as Adam and Eve. The then-56-year-old let her comedic wit wow viewers in a skit that humorously explored what it was like for the first couple in the bible to divorce.

Rose Nylund brings comedic gold to ‘The Golden Girls’

“The Golden Girls” aired in 1985 starring Beatrice Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty and White as Rose Nylund. The show centered around the friendships of four older women in Miami. 

The show won two Primetime Emmy Awards for outstanding comedy series, three Golden Globe Awards for best television series and White won her second Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series category. 

White became oldest‘Saturday Night Live’ host

On May 8, 2010, White hosted “Saturday Night Live,” making her the oldest person to host the late night comedy show at 88 years old. White appeared in every skit and over 12 million viewers tuned in. 

SAG honors White with Lifetime Achievement Award

After more than 60 years in the business, White was honored with the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement award in 2010.

“71 years ago when I sang on an experiment thing, and it was called television, who would have dreamed it would culminate in an evening like this?” she said during her acceptance speech. “I should be presenting an award to you for the privilege of working in this wonderful business all this time. And you still can’t get rid of me.”

White broke a Guinness World Record

She received another accolade in 2018 when she broke the longest TV career by an entertainer for a female in Guinness World Records

“In a career stretching more than 79 years, she has worked on TV, radio and stage, and appeared in more than 15 movies,” the site said. 

Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: [email protected]

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