Betty White, the well-known Sue Ann Nivens on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls” died on Friday, Jan. 7, at her home in Los Angeles. She was 99 years old at the time, and only three weeks away from her 100th birthday.
Betty White had an incredible acting career with numerous iconic roles and achievements. She won five Primetime Emmys and one competitive Daytime Emmy, as well as a lifetime achievement Daytime Emmy in 2015 and a Los Angeles regional Emmy in 1952. Having a television career that spanned seven decades, she was also awarded, in the 2014 edition of “Guinness World Records,” for containing the longest career ever for a female entertainer.
Her most famous role was the naïve, scatterbrained Rose on “The Golden Girls,” which revolved around the lives of four older women sharing a house in Miami. After “The Golden Girls” ended its seven-year run in 1992, Ms. White remained a familiar and welcome presence on television. She reprised the role of Rose Nylund on a short-lived spinoff, “The Golden Palace,” and made guest appearances on “Ally McBeal,” “That ’70s Show,” “Boston Legal” and many other series. Betty White was the last surviving member of the show’s four stars. Estelle Getty died in 2008, Bea Arthur in 2009 and Rue McClanahan in 2010.
Betty White won her final Emmy in 2010 as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for hosting the Mother’s Day episode of “S.N.L.” She followed that appearance with a regular role on yet another sitcom, “Hot in Cleveland,” and then with a book contract and her own reality show. She was bigger than she had been in decades. But she did not see her resurgence as a comeback. “I’ve been working steady for 63 years,” she said in an interview for the ABC News program in 2010. “But everybody says, ‘Oh, it’s such a renaissance.’ Maybe I went away and didn’t know it.”
One of her last in-person appearances was on the 2018 Emmy Awards Show. She was planning to celebrate her 100th birthday with a one-night-only film to be shown in select movie theaters, and she just gave an interview to People magazine in which she talked about her life as she turned 100.