Betty White is someone who has influenced many generations. Always being able to constantly influence the younger audience and relate to them even during her elder years. Her death will not go in vain, and her legacy will live on not only through television but through those who she impacted. This article is in dedication to her career, her impact, her existence, and her wishes.
Who Was Betty White?
Betty White was an American actress, comedian, author, and radio host. She has lived more than half of her life in front of a screen, 75 years to be exact. Betty has practically worked with the most famous producers in Hollywood. She has become a role model for some of the more famous 21st-century actors. Many of the most famous shows and movies she has starred in are Golden Girls, Password, That ‘70s Show, Bones, Hot Cleveland, and many more.
Achievements Throughout Her Career
Betty White lived a long life and received several types of achievements throughout her career. A few include several Grammys, American Comedy Awards, became a Disney Legend. She received a wide range of awards for her long impactful career in television. She was also recognized and invited into the Television Hall of Fame, the USDA Forest Rangers, Television Critics Association, Alliance for Women in Media, and many more.
Social Issues She Addressed During Her Life
Betty was widely known for her success in front of the screen. However, throughout her life, she addressed several social issues and stigmas upfront. Betty would become the first women to produce a national television show. As well as co-founding her own production company to make this happen. Betty would even hire female directors and women in the arts for many of her shows and performances.
She would soon as well host her own television show called The Betty White Show. In 1954 she invited black tap dancer Arthur Duncan to perform on her show. Due to segregation and racism at the time many Southern television companies threatened to boycott her show however this never stopped her.
Betty during the time even redefined a women’s success, which would have been just having a husband and starting a family. She was widely known to still be living with her parents during her 20s. As well as focusing more on her career, passions than the American Women Ideal. She would even be divorced two times, and would never have children of her own. By 1963 she would end up marrying Allen Ludden who would be her soulmate till death. She would become the stepmother to his children, and would never regret not having children of her own. For a long time, this was seen as psychologically impossible for women.
Betty demonstrated throughout her career that a woman does not need to get married and have children to become successful. Many can reflect upon all her accomplishments as a comedian and actress to see how without those “key” qualities she ended up becoming successful on her own.
Betty even touched upon sensitive topics in her career such as the LGBTQ+ community during the 80s, when HIV was at its highest. It is important to note that many individuals during this time period were homophobic. Yet Betty not only brought awareness about HIV during a Golden Girls episode. “I just want to say to all the judgmental people out there: If two people in love want to get married, let them get married,” in 2013 before gay marriage was legalized in the US during the 2013 GLAAD Media Awards.
In addition to her speaking out during the 80s and in 2013 she openly supported The Trevor Project. Which is an LGBTQ+ based support group that provides the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ+ youth. She would as well support the Humans Rights Campaign and Elton Johns AIDS Foundation.
She also fought the stigma of the fear of getting old. Throughout her career especially during the Golden Girls era, she was only in her late 60s and early 70s. By that time many Hollywood actors would be considered too old to be on television and movies. Betty would show people that aging was not a bad thing and it was an important part of the time.
Her Lifelong Impact
Betty impacted the world during her 99 years of existence, even after death her impact will still influence many for generations to come. She was an icon for not only Hollywood, comedy, women, and activists from many different communities but she was someone many looked to during their darkest hours. Betty entertained the world for over 75 years especially when many needed it the most. She will forever live in many hearts, souls, and minds. Always many will Thank Her For Being Their Friend.