Betty White was born on Jan. 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois. Soon after her birth, her family moved to California, where she attended high school, as shown in this senior portrait.
During World War II, White served in the U.S. Army as a member of the American Women's Voluntary Services, where she met her first husband, Dick Barker. The two divorced a year later.
White got her show business start in radio, beginning with commercials and eventually landing her own program, The Betty White Show. In 1949, White co-hosted the TV show Hollywood on Television.
In 1952, White took over Hollywood on Television, became its producer (a rarity for the time) and then created Life with Elizabeth. She earned her first Emmy for her work on the show.
In 1954, she hosted her own variety show and continued to serve as producer, pushing boundaries by showcasing Arthur Duncan, a Black performer, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
In a PBS tribute to her career, Betty White: First Lady of Television, White recalled of the backlash over her decision to feature Duncan, "I said, 'I'm sorry. Live with it.'"
White followed up her variety show with parts on The Millionaire (1956) and Date with the Angels (1957-1958).
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In 1961, White met Allen Ludden while appearing on Password, the game show he hosted, as a celebrity guest. Two years later, the couple married; they were together until his death in 1981.
White hosted the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for 10 years alongside Lorne Greene. Here, the pair sits and watches as floats go by in 1965.
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In 1973, White began appearing on The Mary Tyler Moore Show as Sue Ann Nivens.
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Her time on the blockbuster show would lead to two Emmy Awards for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series.
In 1983, White got her own game show, Just Men, and became the first woman to win a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding game show host.
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In 1985, White began starring as Rose Nylund in Golden Girls alongside Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty and Rue McClanahan.
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In 1986, White won an Emmy for outstanding actress in a comedy series for her role in Golden Girls. She went on to be nominated six more times.
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White also has two American Comedy Awards and was the recipient of lifetime achievement awards at the Emmys in 2015, the SAG Awards in 2010 and the American Comedy Awards in 1990.