Here is why I love Betty White, and you should too


Photo courtesy of Openverse/Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Betty white holds a kiwi with a zoo staff member at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Washington, D.C.

Stephen Gangi, Contributing Writer

Betty Marion White Ludden, known by many across the world as simply Betty White, died in her home in Los Angeles after a 76-year career in the television and film industry on Dec. 31, 2021. Gracing us with her kindness and comedic personality that made all of her roles memorable, she was loved by many. She starred in the “Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” always managing to make us smile even on the toughest days.

Betty White and her humor were consistent throughout her entire career. She would enter a room, and immediately the sounds of laughter and cheers would roam the halls. It is not surprising that she was welcomed and embraced by even recent generations. Sitting down each night, watching the reruns of “The Golden Girls” with my grandmother and laughing at how naturally funny White and her co-stars could be will always be one of my greatest memories. White had an amazing ability to capture the moment and spread positivity through the screen, both in character and out, and it will be hard to find such a shining soul in the industry again.

White was also known as a defender of diversity and inclusion. Betty lended her support
to social movements in response to racism and homophobia.

In an interview with Larry King, White said, “I don’t care whom you sleep with, it’s about the type of human being you are.”

The actress wouldn’t sit down and idly watch people fight; she was always willing to lend a hand to those in need, and this portion of her personality got her a reputation in her early days of acting. In her later years she represented what everyone in the industry must strive for, and how sometimes it’s necessary to act against what society expects from you, and work towards what you believe in to accomplish your goals. She was an inspiration to many young people looking to make it in the industry and promoted individualism.

Such an impact has certainly left me feeling motivated and confident and has allowed me to embrace myself more than ever before. She was always so perfectly herself.

Following her sudden death, which fell just days before her 100th birthday, people took to social media, spreading awareness and taking a moment to remember the happiness that was often associated with her. Betty had often shared her love of animals with the world, speaking on behalf of Guide Dogs for the Blind, and joining hands with many others to
fight canine cancer. As her birthday, Jan. 17, arrived, people around the nation participated in what was called the “Betty White challenge,” where millions of dollars in donations were sent to multiple animal shelters and rescue agencies across the nation, including the L.A. Zoo, Best Friends Society and more. All were donated in White’s name as one last act of gratitude to the late actress.

Television actress and friend of Betty, Vicki Lawerence who starred in “Mama’s Family”
with White said that according to what White’s assistant had told her, in her final
moments, Betty muttered the name “Allen,” her late husband. After her husband’s death in 1981, the star never remarried. Lawrence followed up saying,“That’s so lovingly sweet. I hope that is true.”

Her dedication knew no bounds.

Even in her final moments, Betty White left in the most critically acclaimed manner, as
any actress should. She left us wanting more. The world will forever cherish the memories and
nostalgia that Betty gave them. It is important to remember and hold onto these memories,
because being the person she was, Betty would have wished to see a smile on everyone’s face.