US actress Betty White passes away at age 99

Washington – Betty White was United States television’s Golden Girl with the heart of gold, celebrated for her comic acting abilities from TV’s early days up to the 21st Century, while remaining committed to her animal activism.

“I have to keep acting so that I can afford to keep doing my charity work!” she joked to The Hollywood Reporter in 2018.

Born in Illinois in 1922, White, 99, became one of America’s original screen stars, enjoying a career that encompassed eight decades and earned her many accolades.

As an only child, she moved with her family to Los Angeles during the height of The Great Depression, and in the late 1930s began working as an actress and model.

Her fledgling career had to be put on hold, though, during the Second World War, when she went to work with the American Women’s Voluntary Services.

After the war, White continued with her showbiz ambitions with mixed success, before landing her own radio show and then appearing on Al Jarvis’ Hollywood on Television variety talk show.

She died on Friday, weeks before her 100th birthday.

Clearly a burgeoning talent, she took over the reins of the TV show in the early 1950s, and was subsequently nominated for her first Emmy Award for best TV actress in 1951. It was the new awards’ first ever category to recognise the achievements of women on the box.

Next came the TV sitcom Life with Elizabeth – a show she launched herself, alongside George Tibbles. “He wrote and I produced,” she explained. “I was one of the first women producers in Hollywood.”

White kept her profile high with many chat show appearances, and met her third husband (and “love of my life”) Allen Ludden on the game show Password in 1961. The couple were married from 1963 until Ludden’s death in 1981. (BBC)

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