Betty White has been adored by audiences for close to 60 years, playing a variety roles ranging from feisty Sue Ann Nivens on ‘Mary Tyler Moore’ to sweet Rose Nylund on ‘The Golden Girls’. She has been a host on Saturday Night Live, taught the world why they should eat a Snickers bar (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reu24c9KoKc ), and has collected countless awards. Tonight, NBC hosted her ‘2nd Annual 90th Birthday Party’, with a wide variety of guests giving her honors and praises.
White was unable to attend the actual celebration party as she was feeling under the weather, so instead, she watched the presentation from the comfort of her couch. The party started with an introduction by Sean Hayes, the producer of her current television show, ‘Hot in Cleveland’. He said that one reason all of us love White so much is because, “she could be any one of our grandmothers”. This was the first of many quips about her age, all of them made warm-heartedly and with good fun.
The show continued with various clips throughout White’s acting career. Whether it was seeing her in black and white in ‘Life with Elizabeth’ or in modern ‘Hot in Cleveland’, announcers laughed at the thought that White’s characters were always ready for romance. Kate Flannery claimed that she was the “first cougar on tv” and Lilly Tomlin said that she “stole both husbands and hearts”. Not every actor can maintain their characters as they age, but White proved she is just as fiery and sharp at 90 as she was at 30. Perhaps that’s why Goldberg called her the “queen of TV”.
There were numerous skits made in honor of White, such as Zachary Levi attempting to propose, a mock high school reunion, and President Clinton endorsing her for the 2016 election (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/bill-clinton-pick-2016-betty-white-article-1.1255678). Katie Couric followed by introducing White’s appearances for numerous guest performances and talk shows. No matter what the year of the clip, White never failed to make a clever comment.
White’s career has indeed been an impressive one, and the birthday celebration made it clear that there are many reasons to admire her. But throughout the celebration three things remained constant: White has paved the way for women in television, she has never lost her lively air, and she has been, and continues to be, loved and adored by fans.