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IN OUR VIEW/Betty White: Veteran performer became a superstar in her eighth decade

by Russell McDermott | January 1, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.

Well, the year 2021 couldn't end on a high note. No, it had to leave one last sting.

It was announced on New Years Eve that actress Betty White, age 99, had died peacefully in her sleep.

White was just a couple of weeks shy of her 100th birthday -- a date just about everyone was sure she would keep. But it was not to be.

Betty White was the personification of the phrase "saving the best for last." she made her mark in radio before moving to television, owning, producing and starring in her own sitcom"Life With Elizabeth" by 1952 for which she earned the first of eight Emmy awards. She created signature characters on comedies like "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "The Golden Girls." She co-hosted the Rose Bowl Parade for 19 years. She was a guest on virtually every sitcom, variety show, talk show and game show for years.

But then something happened. After years of being a successful working actress and TV personality, in her eighth decade Betty White became a superstar, a cultural icon, a real phenomenon.

The roles kept coming and she took on more work than most half her age. At age 88 she became the oldest guest host of "Saturday Night Live." The last two decades of her life brought her more fame than the previous seven. It seems everybody was talking about Betty White.

That's quite a cap on a long career.

It's too bad she didn't make it to the century mark. But we can be grateful for the 99 years of entertainment she gave us.

Print Headline: IN OUR VIEW/Betty White: Veteran performer became a superstar in her eighth decade


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