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Quotes by Betty White

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Wikipedia Summary for Betty White

Betty Marion White Ludden (born January 17, 1922; RIP December 31, 2021) is an American actress and comedian. A pioneer of early television, White was one of the first women to exert control in front of and behind the camera, and the first woman to produce a sitcom (Life with Elizabeth), which contributed to her being named honorary Mayor of Hollywood in 1955. She is also widely known for her roles as Sue Ann Nivens on the CBS sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1973–1977), Rose Nylund on the NBC sitcom The Golden Girls (1985–1992), and Elka Ostrovsky on the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland (2010–2015).

With an entertainment career spanning over nine decades, White was eight years old when she made her radio programming debut in 1930. Several years later in young adulthood she began working as a radio personality in Los Angeles under the guidance of disk jockey Al Jarvis. After making the transition to television, White became a staple panelist of American game shows, including Password, Match Game, Tattletales, To Tell the Truth, The Hollywood Squares and The $25,000 Pyramid; dubbed "the first lady of game shows", White became the first woman to receive the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host for the show Just Men! in 1983. She is also known for her appearances on The Bold and the Beautiful, Boston Legal, The Carol Burnett Show, and Saturday Night Live.

With a television career spanning over eight decades, White has worked longer in that medium than anyone else in the television industry, earning her a Guinness World Record in 2018. White has received eight Emmy Awards in various categories, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy Award. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and is a 1985 Television Hall of Fame inductee.


My mother always used to say, 'The older you get, the better you get, unless you're a banana.'



I cannot stand the people who get wonderful starts in show business, and who abuse it. Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, for example, although there are plenty of others, too. They are the most blessed people in the world and they don't appreciate it.



Get at least eight hours of beauty sleep. Nine if you're ugly.



If the guy's a cutie, you've gotta tap that booty.



Kindness and consideration of somebody besides yourself. I think that keeps you feeling young. I really do.



As the years went on, the audience has become very jaded. They've heard every joke, they've seen every story line, they know where you're going before you even start to get there. And that's a hard audience to keep interested.



Vodka is kind of a hobby.



If you call me a comedian I will be very grateful. I will thank you profoundly. No, I love doing comedy. It's fun once in a while to do a serious part but I really enjoy doing comedy because I love to laugh.



Retirement is not a dirty word, I am just enjoying what I am doing. If they want me to retire, then stop asking me. Ask and I will say yes unless it is something I really don't like.



When you start explaining why something's funny or finding a formula for it I think it loses some of its funniness.



Being blessed with good health gives you the strength and loving what you do and -- is a privilege that keeps you going. So I'm just happy as a lark.





My blessing is I'm blessed with good health. If I weren't feeling good or if I didn't have the energy, then it's not that much fun. But this way, you can get away with murder because you're going to be 90 in January.



I still like to see that a man opens the door. I like those touches of chivalry that are fast disappearing. If I sound old-fashioned, it's because I'm as old as I am! But it's just polite.



People who don't like cats haven't been around them. There's the old joke: dogs have masters, cats have staff.



Don't try to be young. Just open your mind. Stay interested in stuff.

Longer Version:

Don't try to be young. Just open your mind. Stay interested in stuff. There are so many things I won't live long enough to find out about, but I'm still curious about them. You know people who are already saying, 'I'm going to be 30 -- oh, what am I going to do?' Well, use that decade! Use them all!



One thing they don't tell you about growing old -- you don't feel old, you just feel like yourself. And it's true. I don't feel eighty-nine years old. I simply am eighty-nine years old.



Keep the other person's well being in mind when you feel an attack of soul-purging truth coming on.



Once someone has had the good fortune to share a true love affair with a Golden Retriever, one's life and one's outlook is never quite the same.



I think a handwritten letter -- a lot of guys don't realize what that means. It's those little romantic touches that tell a lady, I like a lot of people, but you have a special place in my heart.



I think the best kind of comedy is the least self conscious. I think if you just sort of let the comedy happen without the elbow nudge, did you get it, did you get it. I love straight face comedy or subtle -- relatively subtle comedy.



I love straight-face comedy or relatively subtle comedy. And then I turn around and I find myself doing very broad comedy but it's all fun and you have to keep your sense of humor and not take yourself seriously.







Friendship takes time and energy if it's going to work. You can luck into something great, but it doesn't last if you don't give it proper appreciation. Friendship can be so comfortable, but nurture it-don't take it for granted.



I know unless I'm true to myself I couldn't be happy. Too much emphasis is placed today on externals and too little on character.



I'm just happy as a lark having a good health. People say are you thinking about retiring, I don't have time to think about retiring.



When I started in television, it was brand new. It was the miracle over in the corner of your room. Now the audience has seen every story line. People have heard every joke. They can predict the plot almost before a show starts. That's a hard, sophisticated audience to reach.



'Mary Tyler Moore' was -- it was my first big hit.



All creatures must learn to coexist. That's why the brown bear and the field mouse can share their lives in harmony. Of course, they can't mate or the mice would explode.



Oh, I don't need sleep. I just went to my hotel room and had a cold hot dog and a vodka on the rocks.





I happen to be blessed with loving what I do for a living. I love acting and I'm so fortunate to be able to work in this business. And I get these marvelous letters about how encouraging it is to see someone making the most of their time and still enjoying it.



I'm blessed with learning easily. I've always had a good thing about memorizing quickly, and I just leave the script kind of open somewhere, and as I walk by I'll just take a swipe at it and then go on about my business and pretty soon it sticks.



I've always liked older men. They're just more attractive to me. Of course, at my age there aren't that many left!



Avoid tweeting any photos of your private parts.



Humor is like a rhythm; it's like music. And you throw a couple of extra syllables in, you wreck the beat and you kill the laugh. So I try to follow the writers very carefully because I know how carefully they worked to do it that way.



I won't do anything that is connected with drugs. I've seen drugs ruin so many people's lives. I don't think there's anything cute about drugs. And I don't believe in celebrating them.



Snow always inspires such awe in me. Just consider one tiny snowflake alone, so delicate, so fragile, so ethereal. And yet, let a billion of them come together through the majestic force of nature, they can screw up a whole city.



People have told me 'Betty, Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with old friends...' At my age, if I wanted to keep in touch with old friends, I'd need a Ouija board.

Longer Version:

I didn't know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time. I would never say the people on it are losers, but that's only because I'm polite. People say 'But Betty, Facebook is a great way to connect with old friends.' Well at my age, if I wanna connect with old friends, I need a Ouija Board. Needless to say, we didn't have Facebook when I was growing up. We had phonebook, but you wouldn't waste an afternoon with it.



I don't know how people get so anti-something. Just mind your own business, take care of your own affairs, and don't worry about other people so much.



I always tape my Christmas show in advance. That way I can spend the season of joy and goodwill with my only sister in Florida. She's kinda a creep but she's got a pool.



I think we're losing our sense of humor instead of being able to relax and laugh at ourselves. I don't care whether it's ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, or whose ox is being gored.



There is no fool like an old fool.



People forget the good that zoos do. If it weren't for zoos, we would have so many species that would be extinct today.



You don't luck into integrity. You work at it.



When I realized I could use Facebook as a way to communicate directly with my fans, I thought it would be a great idea.



I've worked with Morris Animal Foundation for more than 40 years now, and I'm so proud of all they've done to advance veterinary medicine for animals worldwide.



If you get into a Broadway show and it doesn't work, you're a failure. And if it does work, you may be stuck for who knows how long. It just doesn't sound great to me!



I just want to bring as much natural as I can. I'm not saying that people who take acting lessons are false. They're much better than I am, but it doesn't work for me.



I stayed in show business to pay for my animal business.



I have the backbone of an eel.



I'm not what you might call sexy, but I'm romantic. Let's put it that way.



I am the luckiest old broad on two feet if the truth were known. It's -- but it all goes back to 'Mary Tyler Moore,' 'Golden Girls,' all those -- actors love to take the credit. We couldn't do it without the writers.



I like double entendre because then the people who get it enjoy it, and the people who don't get it don't know about it.



When we started in television, there was that magic box in the corner of the room, and 'Oh my gosh -- look what it's doing!'



I'm the luckiest broad on two feet, I'll tell you that. They say once a woman passes 40 she doesn't get any good parts, so I'm blessed.



Well, I mean, if a joke or humor is bawdy, it's got to be funny enough to warrant it. You can't just have it bawdy or dirty just for the sake of being that -- it's got to be funny.



I'm having the time of my life and the fact that I'm still working -- how lucky can you get? I'm 90 years old and still able to work as much as I do. That's a privilege.



I was one of the first women producers in Hollywood.





Take personal responsibility. A lot of people go, 'Well, I'll get a dog because I have a kid and a kid needs a dog.' And it doesn't work out for that dog and the dog is on the street.



You know what the problem that animal activists sometimes have? They only concentrate on the heartbreaking things to the point where the general public thinks, 'Oh, here comes those animal folks again and I'm going to hear all the things I don't want to hear.'



Of course, nobody's tearing my door down. If you're successful you're going to intimidate and scare off the people you'd like to spend time with. They're not going to approach you. And the ones who do are often there because you are a celebrity.



It's been phenomenal, but everybody keeps congratulating me on my resurgence and my big comeback. I haven't been away, guys. I've been working steadily for the last 63 years.



I kid around a lot, but pranks are not my best strength!



I'm so compulsive about stuff, I know if I had ever gotten pregnant, of course, that would have been my whole focus. But I didn't choose to have children because I'm focused on my career. And I just don't think, as compulsive as I am, that I could manage both.



It's fun once in a while to do a serious part but I really enjoy doing comedy because I love to laugh.



The writers are the stars of every really successful sitcom.



I was an only child and I had a mother and father who were just -- there wasn't a straight man in the house, and I mean that in a very nice way. They were fun, and we would laugh a lot.



I really don't care with whom you sleep. I just care what kind of a decent human being you are.



I think that a show that is as successful as 'The Golden Girls' is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. If you don't feel proud to be part of a show that has that kind of track record, then shame on you, because that's a privilege.



The audience today has heard every joke. They know every plot. They know where you're going before you even start. That's a tough audience to surprise, and a tough audience to write for. It's much more competitive now, because the audience is so much more -- I want to say 'sophisticated.'



I'm in the acting business. That's the ego business.



I love Cadillacs and name them after birds.



I have my golden retriever now, Pontiac. He's a career-change guide dog from Guide Dogs for the Blind.





I don't know where I learned elephants like their tongues slapped. Whatever turns you on.





Why retire from something if you're loving it so much and enjoying it so much, and you're blessed with another group of people to work with like the gang on 'Hot in Cleveland?' Why would I think of retiring? What would I do with myself?



I like bawdy humor. I love bawdy humor, but not dirty humor.



Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren't going to get rid of me that way.



Animals don't lie. Animals don't criticize. If animals have moody days, they handle them better than humans do.



Wendy Malick and Valerie Bertinelli make fun of me, but I take care of my health -- I don't abuse it.



A good friend of mine was Lucy Ball. Her mother and my mother were best friends.



Long ago, I did a five-and-a-half-hour-a-day, six-day-a-week talk show for four years, early on, in Los Angeles -- local show. And when you are on that many hours with no script, you know, you get very comfortable, maybe overly comfortable with that small audience.



Wilderness is harder and harder to find these days on this beautiful planet, and we're abusing our planet to the point of almost no return.



I just make it my business to get along with people so I can have fun. It's that simple.





I think it's your mental attitude. So many of us start dreading age in high school and that's a waste of a lovely life. 'Oh... I'm 30, oh, I'm 40, oh, 50.' Make the most of it.



I think a lot of people like hidden-camera shows where they think they're spying on somebody who doesn't know they're looking at them. And nobody takes it seriously -- you either enjoy it and get a laugh out of the reactions or not.





I don't care who anybody sleeps with. If a couple has been together all that time -- and there are gay relationships that are more solid than some heterosexual ones -- I think it's fine if they want to get married. I don't know how people can get so anti-something.



I had to make a major decision with myself because I just don't think you can do both: try to have a baby career and raise it and have a baby baby and raise it. And to try to do justice to either one. It was a very conscious decision on my part not to have children -- which I have never regretted.



I enjoy being busy, I really do. Remember, I'm the stub end of the railroad. I have no family, so I'm not taking busy time away from people that I should be spending it with. So I'm just relaxing and enjoying it.



I'm in the middle of my sixth book, which is about animals at the Los Angeles Zoo.



You can always tell about somebody by the way they put their hands on an animal.



My mother and dad were big animal lovers, too. I just don't know how I would have lived without animals around me. I'm fascinated by them -- both domestic pets and the wild community. They just are the most interesting things in the world to me, and it's made such a difference in my lifetime.



A lot of people think this is a goodie two-shoes talking. But we do have a tendency to complain rather than celebrating who we are. I learned at my mother's knee it's better to appreciate what's happening... I think we kind of talk ourselves into the negative sometimes.



I don't seem to require a lot of sleep. I just -- if I get four, five good hours, I'm fine. But sleeping is sort of dull. There's a lot of other good stuff that you can do without just lying down and closing your eyes.



The bottom line is, I'm blessed with good health. On top of that, I don't go around thinking 'Oh, I'm 90, I better do this or I better do that.' I'm just Betty. I'm the same Betty that I've always been. Take it or leave it.



A lady likes to be complimented on her looks, her eyes, her figure. But the personality comments are much appreciated.



I may be a senior, but so what? I'm still hot.



I have a two-story house and a bad memory, so I'm up and down those stairs all the time. That's my exercise.



I go out to the kitchen to feed the dog, but that's about as much cooking as I do.





Doing drama is, in a sense, easier. In doing comedy, if you don't get that laugh, there's something wrong.



Anger tears me up inside... My own... or anyone else's.





When I pontificate, it sounds so, you know, Oh, well, she's preaching. I'm not preaching, but I think maybe I learned it from my animal friends. Kindness and consideration of somebody besides yourself. I think that keeps you feeling young. I really do.



Animals are near and dear to my heart, and I've devoted my life to trying to improve their lives.



It's your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don't take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver.





I didn't know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time.



Hot dogs and Red Vines and potato chips and French fries are my favorite foods.





I've enjoyed the opposite sex a lot. Always have. Always will.



Animal lover that I am, a cougar I am not.



I think older women still have a full life.

Longer Version:

I think older women still have a full life. Maybe the writers don't address it these days, but it doesn't change the fact.



I'm a big cockeyed optimist. I try to accentuate the positive as opposed to the negative.


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