Monday, January 03, 2022

Betty White ... Thank You For Being A Friend

Gosh, I loved Betty White … sweet and perky and naughty and sassy. I cannot see a picture of her or watch a video without smiling. But here’s one reason I loved Betty …

In 1954, she had her own variety show, The Betty White Show, and one week she featured tap dancer Arthur Duncan, a Black ,man. Betty received all kinds of hate mail for doing that and her response was:

"I'm sorry. Live with it."

And then she proceeded to have Arthur Duncan on regularly before her show was canceled. That was Betty White. In the 1950s she had zero fucks to give. And here’s how she’s remembered …

“I don’t drink vodka … but I will tonight, on ice, with a slice of lemon with a hot dog on the other side and just be ok being sad. I’ll have to buy some rose colored glasses because Betty was that for all of us.”—Sandra Bullock

"The world looks different now. She was great at defying expectation. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We'll miss you, Betty."—Ryan Reynolds

"I loved Betty very, very much. The world has lost one in a million."—Carol Burnett

"RIP Betty White, the only SNL host I ever saw get a standing ovation at the after party. A party at which she ordered a vodka and a hotdog and stayed til the bitter end."—Seth Meyers

“I hosted one of the many attempted reboots of the Pyramid game show in 2010 and Betty was a celebrity guest. The only thing she asked for all day was two bean and cheese burritos from Taco Bell.”—Andy Richter

"I had the honor of working with Betty on the series Bob and the finale of Hot In Cleveland. Betty was a regular on Jack Paar’s late night show and in 1960 she was there when I did my first stand-up on national television. Betty practically invented television and was a total pro. We lost a giant one today."—Bob Newhart

“I grew up watching and being delighted by her. She was playful and daring and smart. We all knew this day would come but it doesn’t take away the feeling of loss. A national treasure, indeed. Fly with the Angels.”—Debra Messing

“Our national treasure, Betty White, has passed just before her 100th birthday. Our Sue Ann Nivens, our beloved Rose Nylund, has joined the heavens to delight the stars with her inimitable style, humor, and charm. A great loss to us all. We shall miss her dearly.”—George Takei

“Betty White dying three weeks before she turned 100 is the final act of performer whose timing was always sharp, always unexpected, and even with the warmest of characters, always a little dangerous. No one else could live to 99 and so perfectly leave us wanting more.”—Guy Branum

“Betty White brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans. She’s a cultural icon who will be sorely missed. Jill and I are thinking of her family and all those who loved her this New Year’s Eve.”—President Biden

“A spirit of goodness and hope. Betty White was much beloved because of who she was, and how she embraced a life well lived. Her smile. Her sense of humor. Her basic decency. Our world would be better if more followed her example. It is diminished with her passing.”—Dan Rather

“Rest in peace, sweet Betty. My God, how bright heaven must be right now.”—Valerie Bertinelli

“Betty White was an icon in the entertainment industry and a true ‘friend’ to the LGBTQ community. Her character Rose on The Golden Girls was instrumental in drawing mainstream attention to LGBTQ issues on television, namely an episode that raised awareness about HIV in 1990. Throughout the rest of her career, White used her platform to advocate for many issues affecting the LGBTQ community, including marriage equality and supporting at-risk queer youth.”—Anthony Allen Ramos, GLAAD

“In 1974, I was an obscure opening act for Linda Ronstadt at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Passing through the lobby before the show, I saw Betty White and her husband Allen Ludden waiting in line. I loved Betty White, so I went up to them: ‘I’m so honored to meet you both.’ And then I said, ‘Isn’t Linda great?’ She said, ‘We came to see you … because we heard you were funny.’ I was elated.”—Steve Martin

Lastly, here’s Betty White, in her own words, on dying:

“My mother had the most wonderful outlook on death. She would always say, ‘Nobody knows. People think they do—you can believe whatever you want to believe what happens at that last moment—but nobody ever knows until it happens.' Growing up, whenever we’d lose somebody, she’d always say, ‘Now, they know the secret.'”

And now Betty knows it, too.

RIP Golden Girl

19 comments:

Mistress Maddie said...

When I heard, I thought I had must have heard wrong. But nope. I was at the tv right when the news broke. And it takes a real talent to deliver a give no fucks, with sweet and demure delivery, as only Betty could do.

Hollywood needs more like her. As does the political world.

And I only just saw her SNL appearance this weekend, as I haven't watched the show in years, since Melanie Hustle was on. What a hoot! Betty nailed it.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

What a great compilation of quotations! But my fave is from Betty's mother -- "Now they know the secret."

krayolakris said...

Thanks,Bob.

Deedles said...

It's like losing a beloved family member.

Jennifer said...

I was so sad about her passing. Truly q legend and a stellar human being! RIP Betty.

the dogs' mother said...

xoxo :-)

Frank said...

Great lady!

Michael said...

I loved Betty White too. Your post of comments from celebrities was touching. Thank you.

canoetoo said...

Still remember some of her SueAnn Nivins scenes from Mary Tyler Moore. And I can't think of a better example of comic timing than Rose Nyland's many (still hilarious) long, drawn-out St. Olaf stories.

Agnes Goldberg-DeWoofs said...

I thought at this rate, she'd live forever. Still very much sad over it, and have been watching the show today. The house is now empty.

Bob said...

@Maddie
I heard on the web and thought it was a prank, but no. She was one of a kind. And I’d forgotten that she got to host SNL because of a Facebook push.
Facebook did one thing right.

@Debra
That quote got me, too.

@krayolakris
My pleasure.

@Deedles
My bawdy Aunt SueAnn and my kooky Aunt Rose!

@Jennifer
Even for being 99 it seemed a shock that she had passed.

@Frank
Yes, she was that.

@Michael
Seems like Betty was loved by just about everyone.

@canoetoo
I saw some of those old SueAnn bits; she was hilarious.

@Agnes Goldberg-DeWoofs
I felt the same way. She lived a long time, but was gone too soon.

uptonking said...

There's a blooper reel from her last show... Hot In Baltimore... or whatever... anyway... she was a total stitch. Loved her as Sue Anne Niven on the Mary Tyler Moore show. She was so passive aggressive in that role. Kizzes.

Dave R said...

I was prepping a peach cheesecake in the kitchen when I heard the news and was surprised to find a tear rolling down my cheek.

JM said...

May she rest in peace! Loved reading all those beautiful tributes.

Linda said...

This whole post had me smiling. Thank you for putting it all together. Imagine being that loved and loving that openly.

Travel said...

A life well lived

Bohemian said...

No one else could live to 99 and so perfectly leave us wanting more. Well, that said it ALL.

Steve Reed said...

I love what Bob Newhart said about her practically inventing television. It's so true. Steve Martin's recollection is great too.

Steve Reed said...

By the way, the right-wing and completely insane Gateway Pundit web site is reporting that she died from her Covid booster. I'm like, "She was a HUNDRED YEARS OLD!"