The Forever Golden Girl

A tribute to Betty White

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Anna Amundson, Staff Writer

When you “girlboss” a little too close to the sun for a little too long, many celebrities find themselves falling out of relevance. However, actress and icon, Betty White, had a unique experience most famous figures can’t relate to she connected to a multigenerational audience. Grandparents might know her from Life with Elizabeth or The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Parents may be more familiar with titles like The Golden Girls.  Today’s viewers might recognize her voice in The Lorax or her memorable performance in The Proposal. Working in the entertainment industry for 80 years has coined Betty’s iconic roles that will not be easily shaken from our memories.

“She just seemed like a friendly person, she was always smiling and she always had something nice to say,” freshman Lily Rodriguez states. 

Betty White has always been described as lively and charismatic, both traits that helped her become one of the most respected names in Hollywood. She also had a light-hearted approach at her increasing age, once saying, “The older you get, the better you get, unless you’re a banana.” Her old fashion sense of humor was like a breath of fresh air in the infamously toxic entertainment industry.

Betty’s career kicked off in the ‘40s, acting on various radio shows. As TV was becoming more prominent in entertainment culture, she began making regular appearances on TV starting with talk shows and sitcoms. She immediately captured the attention of people and shortly had her own audience, which she was able to use to create her own talk show. Many entertainers would consider this their peak in the industry, but her career only blossomed from there. 

In 1986, Betty unknowingly landed what would become her most universally known television performance – The Golden Girls. The show aired for 7 years and White was nominated for Outstanding Actress every year of the show’s run. She acted up until the day of her death, on Dec. 31, 2021.

“A lot of older and younger people enjoyed watching her and I think that will carry on,” Rodriguez remarks. 

Since her death, many TV channels have found themselves playing reruns of shows she was featured in, and her audience has shown no signs of dwindling.

Fans and supporters everywhere have found ways to honor the late actress. NBC featured a special for her 100th birthday, which she was only 18 days shy of. Google also created a unique tribute, having rose petals flutter down the screen when a person would type her name. However, the most impactful way White is being honored is fans donating to various animal charities because of her love for animals. The actress has always shown a passion for animal rights and spent much of her time surrounded by furry friends.

“She never had a care in the world and always seemed to be happy, that has sort of made me realize that not everything in life is as big of a problem as it seems to be,” Rodriguez says.

Betty’s impact has wedged its way into people’s everyday lives, with just her positivity reminding everyone of the joys in life. Betty lived enough lives for multiple people, and she will be remembered for many more years than those written in stone.