Friday, December 31, 2021

The Last Golden Girl: Betty White (1922-2021)

 17 Emmy nominations. 7 Emmy Awards. A television career that spanned 8 decades. Betty White was 2 1/2 weeks away from her 100th birthday. News came over the wires earlier today that Betty had passed away at 99.

Like many of her contemporaries in the 50's, Betty began her career in radio, then transitioned to television. A pair of self-titled sitcoms. Life With Elizabeth. A Date With The Angels. The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Pet Set. Just Men. The Golden Girls. Hot in Cleveland. A zillion game show appearances, usually on Password (with then-husband Allen Ludden) or Match Game. Just Men, her only daytime game show hosting stint, was also producer Rick Rosner's first game show, in 1983. Rosner went on to revive The Hollywood Squares three years later, after Mark Goodson's fusion of Squares & Match had bombed on NBC.

Pet Set, a syndicated weekend series, highlighted Betty's animal rights activism, as she and her Hollywood friends shared their pets. Ludden served as an executive producer, and guested on the show. Betty also made some movies, including "Lake Placid", a horror movie, which would be the last thing her fans expected, and 2009's "The Proposal".

She kept working, and was working on something to mark her centennial when she passed.

In her memory, we present a 1975 episode of Password, from its ABC run. The series had been tweaked some during its 4 years on the Alphabet Network, as you'll see.

You can bet there will be marathons on the cable of either Golden Girls or Sue Ann Nivens-centric episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, or Betty's earlier works.

Rest in peace.

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