Throughout her more than 80-year career in the entertainment industry – the longest career in television history – Betty White became a cultural icon and a household name. When she passed away on December 31, 2021, she was 99. Celebrate her life and legacy with “Betty White: First Lady of Television” on Friday, January 7.
“Betty White: First Lady of Television” was filmed over the course of 10 years and chronicles the life and career of the beloved television and film legend. Known for her roles as Sue Ann on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” Rose on “The Golden Girls,” and more recently as Elka on “Hot in Cleveland,” Betty White was also an industry pioneer. She was the first woman to produce a national TV show, the first woman to star in a sitcom, the first producer to hire a female director and the first woman to receive an Emmy nomination.
Producers with special access to Betty and her team were able to capture a wide variety of footage, including performances at various venues and personal moments at home with close friends. The film contains clips from her long career, as well as comments from friends and co-stars, including Valerie Bertinelli, Georgia Engel, Tina Fey, Valerie Harper, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Gavin McLeod, Carl Reiner, Ryan Reynolds, Tom Sullivan, Alex Trebek and more.
“The goal of the film from the beginning was to highlight the universal appeal that is Betty White… to showcase Betty’s life in front of and behind the curtain,” said co-director Steven J. Boettcher.
“Betty White: First Lady of Television” explores her career from her early days in radio and then co-hosting her first television series, the sitcom “Life with Elizabeth” which she produced and starred in, her numerous game-show appearances, her two Emmy wins for her role in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” her Emmy win for her role as Rose on “The Golden Girls,” and her Emmy win for hosting “Saturday Night Live” in 2010 at the age of 88. You can watch “Betty White: The First Lady of Television” on Friday, January 7 at 9 p.m. on Panhandle PBS.