TV

Betty White through the years: A look back at the beloved 'Golden Girl'

From her early days in Hollywood to her resurgence of fame at 90, here's a look at White's decades-long career.

/ 28 PHOTOS
Hooray for Hollywood

Hooray for Hollywood

White began her career in television shortly after graduating high school in 1939, and had her own radio show in the 1940s. In 1952, she began hosting "Hollywood on Television." As of 2012, she has won seven Emmys and been nominated 20 times.

NBC
  • Share
Fifties fashion

Fifties fashion

A stylish White dons a veiled hat in 1955.

Getty Images
  • Share
Do you know 'Chopsticks'?

Do you know Chopsticks?

White hits a high note with a canine pal in 1957.

ABC via Getty Images
  • Share
Home sweet home

Home sweet home

White in her backyard garden in 1956.

Getty Images
  • Share
Where 'Angels' go

Where angels go

In 1957, White played newlywed Vicki Angel in "Date With the Angels." The show lasted just one season, and White later said, "I can honestly say that was the only time I have ever wanted to get out of a show."

ABC via Getty Images
  • Share
Gobble, gobble

Gobble, gobble

White and Lorne Greene host the 1966 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

NBC
  • Share
Games people play

Games people play

White and Ludden play the game show he hosted, "Password," with an unidentified guest in 1967.

CBS via Getty Images
  • Share
Out on the town

Out on the town

White and husband Allen Ludden are seen at an International Broadcasting Awards dinner tribute to Mary Tyler Moore on March 19, 1974. Ludden was her third husband and they were married until his death from cancer in 1981. They had no children.

Getty Images
  • Share
You're gonna make it after all

You're gonna make it after all

Before "The Golden Girls," White's biggest role was as Happy Homemaker Sue Ann Nivens on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." The man-hungry Nivens hosted a cooking and decorating show, and included such topics as "What's all this fuss about famine?" and "A salute to fruit." She's seen here with Moore in 1975.

CBS via Getty Images
  • Share
Eye of the tiger

Eye of the tiger

White leans against Sultan, a 300-pound Bengal tiger, in 1979. She was working to help plan that year's Morris Animal Foundation Annual Health Conference and luncheon.

AP
  • Share
Comedy with Carol

Comedy with Carol

In 1978, White joined Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence, Steve Martin and Carol Burnett on "The Carol Burnett Show."

CBS via Getty Images
  • Share
Heeeeeeere's Betty!

Heeeeeere's Betty

White plays Jane to Johnny Carson's Tarzan in a "Tonight Show" sketch on Aug. 14, 1981.

NBC
  • Share
Queens of comedy

Queens of comedy

White and fellow comedian Lucille Ball pose in 1987.

Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images
  • Share
Four friends

Four friends

White outlived all of her "Golden Girls" companions -- Estelle Getty died in 2008, Bea Arthur in 2009 and Rue McClanahan in 2010

Getty Images
  • Share
'Golden' moment

Golden moment

"The Golden Girls" introduced White to a new generation of fans.

Getty Images
  • Share
Honoring her husband

Honoring her husband

White places her hand on the star that was presented posthumously to her husband, Allen Ludden, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles in 1988. White's own star is right next to Ludden's.

AP
  • Share
Thank you for being a friend

Thank you for being a friend

In "The Golden Girls," which ran from 1985 to 1992, White starred with Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty as four older women who share a home in Miami.

NBC
  • Share
Charmed, I'm sure

Charmed, I'm sure

Betty White visits "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center in New York on Nov. 28, 2011.

NBC via Getty Images
  • Share
What a life

What a life

White poses with the Life Achievement Award she won at the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2010.

Getty Images
  • Share
Shake your booty

Shake your booty

Actresses Sandra Bullock and and White joke around during during the 2010 Teen Choice Awards.

Getty Images
  • Share
A smooch for Elmo

A smooch for Elmo

White got up close and personal with Muppet Elmo on TODAY in 2010.

NBC
  • Share
Dishing with 'SNL'

Dishing with 'SNL'

In 2010, White joined Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon for the "Delicious Dish" sketch on "Saturday Night Live," unafraid to joke about her "muffin."

NBC
  • Share
Friend to animals

Friend to animals

White signs copies of her new book "Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo" in 2011. The lifelong animal lover wrote about the animals she visits at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Getty Images
  • Share
Still 'Hot'

Still 'hot'

White reacts as she and cast members Wendie Malick, Jane Leeves and Valerie Bertinelli accept the Favorite Cable TV Comedy award for their TV series, "Hot in Cleveland," at the 2012 People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 11, 2012.

Reuters
  • Share
Queen of Hollywood

Queen of Hollywood

White is shown here before the taping of "Betty White's 90th Birthday: A Tribute To America's Golden Girl" which aired on NBC in January 2012.

AP
  • Share
Betty, meet Betty

Betty, meet Betty

At 90, Betty White is more popular than ever. Here she poses with a bust of her likeness at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in North Hollywood, Calif. on May 10, 2012.

Getty Images
  • Share
Seeing double

Double vision

Betty White, at left, attends her wax figure unveiling at Madame Tussauds on June 4, 2012, in Los Angeles.
AP
  • Share
BONES:  L-R:  Emily Deschanel and guest star Betty White in the "The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

No bones about it

Emily Deschanel and guest star Betty White in the "Carpals in the Coy-Wolves" episode of "Bones."

FOX via Getty Images
  • Share
1/28