Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What Becomes a Legend Most?


This is a something I actually wanted to talk about last week, but just never got around to, for a variety of reasons, until today.

That's a picture of the Grande Dame of Television, Betty White, who at 88, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild this past Sunday. Working in the industry since the 1945 short Time to Kill, Ms. White has graced film and TV screens with her talents for six decades. Whether on her own eponymous series (there were 4); as part of an ensemble or in many appearances on daytime game shows like "Password" or "The Match Game," Betty White has always been the epitome of grace and humor.

As Sue Ann Nivens on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in the '70's, she put the "bitch " in home cooking shows while Martha Stewart was still dreaming about her own TV empire. And as the ditzy Norwegian from St. Olaf, Rose Nyland on "The Golden Girls," she managed to prove that dumb blondes are sexy well into their late 50's (and how she managed to say some of that outrageously hilarious dialog without cracking up is still beyond my ken). In Steve Miner's campy 1999 horror flick Lake Placid, she played a foul-mouthed old coot who kept a killer croc as a pet and on ABC's "The Practice" and "Boston Legal," she played a crazy murderous old broad who killed for attention, if nothing else. A long-time advocate of animal rights and from all accounts a wonderful human being, I can't imagine a person more deserving of Lifetime Achievement award.

Those who know me will attest that I am not a gusher nor a stammerer when it comes to meeting celebrities (ask me about the "I'm-about-to-run-into-you-dance" I did with Liam Neesom in the Lincoln Center Barnes and Noble some time), but I assure you, were I to meet Betty White, I would stammer, gush and probably fall prostrate at her feet. The words "Living Legend" have never been more apt then in describing this true icon of Film and Television. Still going strong, her most recent film was the Sandra Bullock/Ryan Reynolds romantic comedy The Proposal and she is listed on IMDb as being in post-production for the upcoming You Again and in pre-production for writer Suzanne Martin's TV series, "Hot in Cleveland."

If you ask me, the world needs more Betty Whites. Here are some highlights from her long and varied career:













Bless you, Betty White, for all the joy you've brought to millions over the years. I am, and will continue to be, an avid fan.

More, anon.
Prospero