Celebrity news

Hollywood pays tribute to legendary star Betty White | Celebrity News | Showbiz and television

Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey topped the accolades for the award-winning American actress who died on New Year’s Eve, just under three weeks before her 100th birthday on January 17.

Her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was surrounded by flowers and memories from heartbroken fans yesterday.

Best known for starring as Rose on the hit 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls, White enjoyed a breakthrough career in show business spanning eight decades.

She has appeared on a series of high-profile American sitcoms, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show and most recently Hot In Cleveland.

Although she is often cast as a petite blonde or a sweet old lady, she was a smart operator and one of the first women in entertainment to take control of her career.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama, 57, who shared a birthday with the icon, said White had “broken down barriers” and would be missed by people around the world. Posting a photo of the actress with the Obamas’ late dog, Bo, she wrote, “Betty White broke barriers, defied expectations, served her country and made us all laugh.

“Barack and I join so many around the world who will miss the joy she brought to the world.

“I know Bo can’t wait to see her in heaven.”

Dolly Parton said, “Betty will live forever, not just in this world but in the world after. I will always love her. We all will!”

And US President Joe Biden tweeted: “Betty White has brought smiles to generations of Americans”.

Cat show queen Oprah Winfrey thanked White for her life and work. Sharing a photo of the couple together, Winfrey said she was “celebrating 99 years of your love on the planet. Thank you Betty White.”

White was one of the first women to have creative control in front of and behind the camera with her 1950s sitcom Life With Elizabeth.

Born in Illinois, she grew up in Los Angeles and got her first television job in 1939. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, she was a regular on game shows and talk shows.

She has made numerous appearances on the game show Password. Host Allen Ludden became her third and final husband.

In 1973, she was cast as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, playing a blonde TV host with a vicious, nymphomaniac streak.

The script described Sue Ann as “a sickeningly sweet Betty White type”, and White recalled that when “they couldn’t find anyone sickening enough”, they gave her the role. She won two Emmys for the role.

A new generation grew to love her as Rose Nylund in The Golden Girls, a sitcom about a group of retired women sharing a house in Miami, Florida.

Starring Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, the show with its theme song “Thanks For Being A Friend” and its rendition of everything from sex to death became a global hit.

White summed up the show’s appeal, saying, “I think we were really, really funny.”

Such was his television longevity, White’s last sitcom, Hot in Cleveland, ended at the age of 93.

During her career, she has written several books and won five Primetime Emmy Awards.

She also holds the world record for the longest television career.

Last night the producers of a documentary about his career said a screening of the film on what would have been his 100th birthday would continue.

The film includes interviews with stars such as Ryan Reynolds and Robert Redford talking about the veteran actress.