Betty White continues to enjoy her "golden" years, as the actress turns 95 today. One of America's most beloved comedic talents, Betty Maron White Ludden, was born January 17, 1922 in Oak Park, Illinois as the only child to parents Horace and Christine. The family later settled in California—first in Alhambra and then Los Angeles—during the Great Depression.
Her Hollywood career grew slowly, but steadily, and included radio, television and film. In 1951 she was nominated for her first Emmy. And by 1952 White had already become a pioneer in entertainment. Her program, Life with Elizabeth, in which she not only starred in but co-produced with George Tibbles and Don Fedderson, was one of the first nationally syndicated programs with a woman at the helm who held creative control in front of and behind the camera.
White became a household name when she took on the role of the rather randy character Sue Ann Nivens on the ground-breaking The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1973. And, of course, she will forever be best known as the naive and lovable Rose Nylund on the 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls. The show, which won 11 Emmys over its eight-year run, is still considered ahead of its time and can be found daily in syndication.
While White has continued acting throughout her 80s and 90s (including Everwood and a guest appearance on The Middle), she has also steadfastly remained committed to animal welfare. She has tirelessly worked to help keep endangered species alive and is an advocate for abused animals worldwide.
Happy birthday, Betty!