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BETTY WHITE (Grammy Norma) was born on January 17 in Oak Park, Illinois, and moved to Los Angeles with her parents when she was two years old. She graduated from Beverly Hills High School.

White played small parts on radio, which led into television at its very inception on the West Coast (1949). Her first big break was joining Al Jarvis on a local television show that broadcast live five and a half hours a day, six days a week. After two years, she inherited the show for an additional two years.

In partnership with producer Don Fedderson and writer George Tibbles, White formed her own production company and produced her first comedy series, Life With Elizabeth, for which she received her first Emmy in 1952; The Betty White Show, an NBC daily talk/variety show; and the network situation comedy Date With the Angels. She appeared frequently on major variety and game shows and was a recurring regular with Jack Paar (more than 70 appearances), Merv Griffin and Johnny Carson, appearing in many Mighty Carson Art Players skits. She also subbed as host on all three shows and was a regular with Vicki Lawrence on Mama's Family as Ellen Harper Jackson, a role she created with the rest of the company on The Carol Burnett Show.

White's first appearance on Mary Tyler Moore in the show's fourth season led to her becoming a recurring cast member. She received two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal of Sue Ann Nivens, the "Happy Homemaker,” in 1975 and 1976. White hosted the New Year's Day Tournament of Roses Parade on network television for 20 years and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for 10 years.

From 1970 to 1971, White created, wrote and hosted her syndicated television animal series, The Pet Set. In 1976, she was awarded the Pacific Pioneers in Broadcasting's Golden IKE Award and the Genii Award from American Women in Radio & Television. She received her fourth Emmy for Outstanding Host or Hostess in a Game or Audience Participation Show for Just Men!. She was nominated seven times for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for The Golden Girls, and won an Emmy in the show's first season, in 1985. She then appeared in the spin-off, The Golden Palace, for one season. In 1996, she received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on The John Larroquette Show. In 1997, she received an Emmy nomination for her guest starring role on Suddenly Susan. In 1987, the American Comedy Awards gave her the award for Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (Leading Role) Network, Cable or Syndication for The Golden Girls, and in 1990, she received its Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy. In 1995, she was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. In 2000, she received the American Comedy Award for the Funniest Female Guest Appearance in a TV Series for her role on Ally McBeal, and in 2002, she made recurring appearances on That '70s Show.

In 2007, White received an honorary Doctor of Humane Veterinary Sciences degree from Western University's College of Veterinary Medicine. In August 2009, the Television Critics Association honored her with its Career Achievement Award. In September 2009, she received a Disney Legends Award, and in October 2009, she was honored by the Jane Goodall Institute with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2010, White charmed sports fans with her role in a top-rated Snickers Super Bowl commercial. In January 2010, she received the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Life Achievement Award, and in April 2010, the American Women in Radio & Television honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Acting. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) honored her with the Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy. She was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in December, and was nominated for two People's Choice Awards. She was also voted AP's Entertainer of the Year in 2010.

In January 2011, White received her first SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for the snarky but lovable caretaker on the TV Land series Hot in Cleveland, which also stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick. Also in 2011, she received an Emmy nomination for her role on the show and was given Broadcasting & Cable's Lifetime Achievement Award in addition to being inducted into its Hall of Fame.

White had a recurring role on Boston Legal, as Catherine Piper, and a recurring role as Ann Douglas on the daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful. On May 8, 2010, she hosted Saturday Night Live. The episode was one of the highest-rated in the show's history, and White won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, bringing her Emmy award total to seven. She guest-starred on the season finale of The Middle and on the NBC series Community. She also hosts and executive produces NBC's hidden-camera comedy show Off Their Rockers.

A trustee of the Morris Animal Foundation since 1971, White serves as president emerita. In 1987, she received the American Veterinary Medical Association's Humane Award. She has recently been named chairwoman of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, having served on the board since 1974 and as a zoo commissioner for eight years. In February 2006, she was honored by the City of Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Zoo as Ambassador to the Animals for her lifelong work for animal welfare. A bronze plaque was placed next to the zoo's gorilla exhibit. She was also recently inducted as an honorary United States forest ranger.

White has appeared in several movies for television, including Chance of a Lifetime, with Leslie Nielsen; The Retrievers, for Animal Planet; Stealing Christmas, with Tony Danza; and Annie's Point, for the Hallmark Channel. She recently starred in the CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame movie The Lost Valentine, which aired in January 2011.

Her endeavors on the big screen include Hard Rain, with Morgan Freeman and Christian Slater; Dennis the Menace Strikes Again!, playing Martha Wilson, opposite Don Rickles; writer David E. Kelley's Lake Placid; Rob Reiner's The Story of Us; Bringing Down the House, with Steve Martin and Queen Latifah; and The Proposal, with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. She also starred in Disney's You Again, with Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver, which was released in September 2010.

She is the author of seven books, including "Betty White's Pet-Love”; "Betty White in Person”; "The Leading Lady: Dinah's Story,” co-authored with Tom Sullivan; "Here We Go Again: My Life in Television,” which was reissued in October 2010; and "Together: A Story of Shared Vision,” also co-authored with Tom Sullivan. On May 3, 2011, her book "If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won't)” was released, and "Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo” was released in November 2011.

White was married for 18 years to Allen Ludden, host of television's Password, until his death in 1981. She lives in Brentwood, California, with her golden retriever, Pontiac.


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