Born in Illinois in 1922, Betty Marion White and her family moved to Los Angeles during the 1930s. It was while performing in a high school play that Betty decided she wanted to become an actress. At first she was turned down because she wasn't photogenic, leading her to try out radio instead, soon having her own show, The Betty White Show.
Her very first on-screen appearance was in the 1945 short Time to Kill. She plays Lou's girl.
In 1949, Betty began to co-host and, eventually in 1952, host Hollywood on Television. In 1950 she was nominated for her first Emmy.
Also in 1952, Betty White starred in her own television series, Life with Elizabeth (1952-1955). She also had full creative control of the show, and much of the episodes were based on real-life situations. Each episode was divided into three "incidents" in the life of Elizabeth and her husband Alvin. Unfortunately there is no complete list of episodes. You can watch a total of 20 episodes for free on Hulu. I highly recommend the show. It is delightful and hilarious.
Check out this article from the Huffington Post with 35 photos of a very young and stylish Betty White.From 1953-1955 she had a daily talk show, The Betty White Show, where she would chat with the band, sing songs, and advertise products. It ran for 65 episodes. In 1958 she had another show of the same name (14 episodes) where she would perform skits, many of them in the vein of I Love Lucy.
Betty's next series was Date with the Angels (1957-1958), which ran for only 33 episodes. It is also available on Hulu (I haven't gotten around to watching it yet).
Over the next decade, Betty would guest star in several television series, including Petticoat Junction, The Odd Couple, and the Carol Burnett Show.
In 1973, Betty joined cast of the popular Mary Tyler Moore Show. After guest starring in one episode it was decided to make her a regular member of the cast. In it's fourth season, Betty played Sue Ann Nivens, who hosted a homemaker show for WJM-TV. She won an Emmy for her role. The first three seasons of the show are on Hulu and season 4 will begin airing in a month or two on MeTV.
After the series ended in 1977, Betty again had her own show with the ever popular title of the Betty White Show. It ran for one season (14 episodes). She also appeared in several TV Movies and guest starred in several more television shows.
In 1985, Betty starred in her most famous role, that of Rose in The Golden Girls. The show ran until 1992 and re-runs are constantly shown on TV.
Betty's most famous recent role is that of Elka in Hot in Cleveland, which ran from 2010-2015. Her popularity through the years is a testament to her, her acting, and her ability to embrace the present.
Super Bowl 2010 Snickers commercial
In addition to her impressive screen career, Betty White has also written 7 books:
I'm in the acting business. That's the ego business. When you get offers, the way things are going now you've gotta enjoy it. You've gotta take to time to taste it, and appreciate it and make the most of it.Those offers aren't going to come around all the time. By the time I'm 100...