With the many recent celebrity deaths – Bowie, Alan Rickman, Brian Bedford, David Margulies – it’s only fitting that we should the celebrate the life of a living icon. Someone who has graced television screens for more than 70 years, having won eight Emmys, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and yes, even a Grammy. But more than that she is the first lady of gameshows, one of my favourite forms of entertainment. Yes, the incomparable Betty White turned 94 years young today.
Although I am much too young to have been around in the 50s and 60s when Betty was in her first heyday, thanks to YouTube and cyberspace (and once-upon-a-time cable TV), I have been to Betty’s numerous appearances on classics such as Match Game and Password, two of the all time greats, and the latter where she met her husband. Plus, I have seen a few episodes of the Golden Girls.
I think what makes Betty White so lovable is her willingness to do almost anything. In an episode of Hot in Cleveland, her character tells the three younger ladies that she broke up with her boyfriend because he didn’t want to go “downtown”. As Betty quips, she doesn’t know what it means, the writers write and she will speak the lines. And this is why we love Betty White; she is so amiable, so personable. Plus she’s hosted Saturday Night Live and has had a long career of helping animals, could she be any more awesome?
Whether it’s drinking vodka with David Letterman, announcing her candidacy for President or playing pranks with fellow senior citizens, Betty is always willing to go the extra mile for a laugh, and she has impeccable comic timing to boot. Remember The Proposal?
Even when she’s pretending to mean, she’s always nice about it. It’s fitting that she is sometimes known as “The Nation’s Grandmother” even though she has no natural children of her own. She spoils us all rotten with her hilarious quips and zingers and will always gladly make an appearance at your event.
So Ms. White, as you complete your 94th journey around the sun, I’d like to say “Here’s to you”. We are blessed and honoured to have you in our lives. May you continue to make us laugh for years to come.