Betty Marion White Ludden (January 17, 1922 – December 31, 2021) was an American actress and comedian. With a television career spanning over 80 years, White worked longer in that medium than anyone else in the television industry. Regarded as a pioneer of television, she was one of the first women to exert control in front of and behind the camera and is recognized as the first woman to produce a sitcom (Life with Elizabeth), which contributed to her receiving the honorary title Mayor of Hollywood in 1955. She has received eight Emmy Awards in various categories, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy Award. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is a 1985 Television Hall of Fame inductee, and a 2009 Disney Legend.
White is known for her award-winning roles as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1973–1977), with Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Asner, Valerie Harper, Gavin MacLeod, Ted Knight, and Georgia Engel; and Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls (1985–1992), with Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty. The Writers Guild of America has included both sitcoms in its list of the 101 Best-Written TV Series of All Time. At age 88, she returned to a weekly sitcom playing Elka Ostrovsky on Hot in Cleveland (2010–2015), with Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, and Wendie Malick.
A staple panelist of American game shows such as Password, Match Game, Tattletales, The Hollywood Squares and The $25,000 Pyramid, White has been dubbed “the first lady of game shows”, and became the first woman to receive a Daytime Emmy Award, winning the award for Outstanding Game Show Host in 1983 for the show Just Men! She is also known for her appearances on Boston Legal, The Carol Burnett Show, Saturday Night Live, My Name Is Earl, Malcolm in the Middle, That ’70s Show, and many others.
White has appeared in such films as Otto Preminger‘s Advise & Consent (1962), with Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton, Don Murray, Walter Pidgeon, Peter Lawford, Gene Tierney, Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Burgess Meredith, Eddie Hodges, Paul Ford, George Grizzard, and Inga Swenson; Hard Rain (1998), with Christian Slater, Morgan Freeman, Randy Quaid, Minnie Driver, and Asner; Lake Placid (1999), with Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt, Brendan Gleeson, Meredith Salenger, and Mariska Hargitay; Bringing Down the House (2003), with Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, Eugene Levy, Jean Smart, and Joan Plowright; the English dub of Hayao Miyazaki‘s Ponyo (2008), with Noah Cyrus, Frankie Jonas, Tina Fey, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson, Cate Blanchett, Lily Tomlin, and Leachman; The Proposal (2009), with Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, and Craig T. Nelson; You Again (2010), with Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, and Odette Yustman; and The Lorax (2012), with Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Rob Riggle, and Jenny Slate.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Advise & Consent (1962) – directed by Otto Preminger
- With This Ring (1978) – directed by James Sheldon – TV movie
- Snavely (1978) – directed by Hal Cooper – TV short/pilot
- The Best Place to Be (1979) – directed by David Miller – TV movie
- Before and After (1979) – directed by Kim Friedman – TV movie
- Stephanie (1981) – directed by Burt Brinckerhoff – TV short
- Eunice (1982) – directed by Roger Beatty & Harvey Korman – TV movie
- Chance of a Lifetime (1991) – directed by Jonathan Sanger – TV movie
- A Weekend in the Country (1996) – directed by Martin Bergman – TV movie
- The Story of Santa Claus (1996) – directed by Toby Bluth – TV short
- Hard Rain (1998) – directed by Mikael Salomon
- Dennis the Menace Strikes Again (1998) – directed by Charles T. Kanganis – straight to video
- Holy Man (1998) – directed by Stephen Herek
- Lake Placid (1999) – directed by Steve Miner
- The Story of Us (1999) – directed by Rob Reiner
- Whispers: An Elephant’s Tale (2000) – Dereck Joubert
- Tom Sawyer (2000) – directed by directed by Paul Sabella & Phil Mendez – straight to video
- The Retrievers (2001) – directed by Paul Schneider – TV movie
- The Wild Thornberry’s The Origin of Donnie (2001) – directed by Dean Criswell, Carol Millican, Ron Noble, & Joseph Scott – TV movie
- Bringing Down the House (2003) – directed by Adam Shankman
- Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt (2003) – directed by Paul A. Kaufman – TV movie – cameo
- Stealing Christmas (2003) – directed by Gregg Champion – TV movie
- Annie’s Point (2005) – directed by Michael Switzer – TV movie
- The Third Wish (2005) – directed by Shelley Jensen
- Ponyo (2008)* – directed by Hayao Miyazaki – English Dub
- Love N’ Dancing (2009) – directed by Robert Iscove
- The Proposal (2009)* – directed by Anne Fletcher
- Part Two: The Warm Mission (2009) – directed by Tim Pyle
- You Again (2010) – directed by Andy Fickman
- Operation: Secret Santa – A Prep & Landing Stocking Stuffer (2010) – directed by Kevin Deters & Stevie Wermers-Skelton – TV short
- The Lorax (2012)* – directed by Chris Renaud
- Toy Story 4 (2019)* – directed by Josh Cooley
- Trouble (2019) – directed by Kevin Johnson