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St. John's Confidential File

Betty White A Soldier With Gun Full Of Love
Posted by Michael St. John on Dec 21, 2013 - 5:31:51 AM

Betty White
HELLO AMERICA!—The first time I met Betty White was in the 50s, she was taping her show. Now the gifted lady is in her nineties and Hollywood and the nation continues to give her standing ovations.


MSJ: Betty, I remember sitting in a television station watching your show being taped which was in black and white at the time. And when I see you today on the tube, you are just as funny as you were then.  What do you do to keep current as an artist?


BW: I laugh a lot. Seriously! When you watch all the insane things going on around you, there’s nothing else you can do but laugh.


MSJ: Which part of your career was the most difficult to handle as far as opportunities to move forward as an actress?


BW: Oh, when the game show idea became popular, I was ignored because I was a woman, and the network couldn’t see me in that kind of hosting shoes.  And I didn’t get a chance until 1083 when I became the first female to host a game show and won an Emmy. It was quite nice and a whole lot of fun. I was very lucky!


MSJ: You’ve been a singer, a voice-over artist, comedian, author, you’ve done it all. Which of these efforts do you or have you enjoyed the most?


BW: I really enjoy playing or creating dizzy broads, ones who don’t have the slightest idea about reality, they’re so busy enjoying a fantasy they’ve created for themselves. I just think they’re delightful characters that people find easy to identify with. Possibly they think of an old aunt or even a neighbor that made them laugh and have fun with. 


MSJ: Is this one of the reasons you felt at home working on the Mary Tyler Moore Show as well as Golden Girls?


BW: I think so playing Sue Ann Nivens was a blast; she was a sneaky little devil and the viewers loved hating her. And the same with “Blanche” on the Golden Girls. She was obsessed with men and always making the wrong choice. Frankly, I really think this is why so many women enjoyed watching her, she reminded them of themselves.


MSJ: Your marriage to Allen Ludden seemed to have been a perfect fit. You had so much in common.


BW: It was wonderful!  We actually met when I appeared on his  Password game show.  We took a liking to each other immediately. As a matter of fact, he asked me to have dinner with him right after my first appearance on that show. And he told me as I was about to take a drink from my wine glass that he wanted me to be his wife. The only thing I said, because I was so surprised was, “Good gracious, Allen, give me a chance to swallow my damn wine! I almost choked! Eventually, of course, I thought why not and agreed to be Mrs. Ludden. And there were tons of wonderful days and months discovering each other in so many ways. Allen was a wonderful part of my life. I was lucky to have him as long as I did, but he’s here in my heart, the good times, the sad times, but always the magic he brought to everything we did together. 


MSJ: Betty, do you ever want to retire from the business and just live a quiet life without all show biz noise?


BW: Listen, honey, I’ve been in this business for so many years I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I didn’t hear someone yell “LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION, that’s when I’m really alive!  


Cliffside Malibu




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