America's Golden Girl: Betty White turns 99 years young

Posted at 11:53 AM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 11:54:46-05

America's golden girl, Betty White, is turning 99 on Sunday, Jan. 17.

Like many others have had to do since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, she'll be celebrating her birthday in quarantine.

"What am I doing for my birthday? Running a mile each morning has been curtailed by COVID, so I am working on getting The Pet Set re-released, and feeding the two ducks who come to visit me every day," White told Entertainment Tonight.

The show, The Pet Set, is one of White's from the 1970s. It spotlights both animals and animal-loving celebrities.

Wondering how White feels about aging and social media?

Well, 11 years ago, during a Saturday Night Live monologue, White hilariously explained how she felt when people tried to explain Facebook to her:


Here's a look at the life of the Emmy-award winning actress:


  • Birthdate: January 17, 1922
  • Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois
  • Birth name: Betty Marion White
  • Father: Horace White, electrical engineer
  • Mother: Tess White
  • Marriages: Allen Ludden (June 14, 1963-June 9, 1981, his death); Lane Allen (1947-1949, divorced); Dick Barker (1945, divorced)
  • Children: Three stepchildren with Allen Ludden: David, Martha and Sarah

Other Facts:

  • Nominated for 21 Primetime Emmy awards and won five.
  • Nominated for one Grammy Award and won one.
  • Was offered the role of Blanche Devereaux on "The Golden Girls," but accepted the role of Rose Nyland instead.
  • Turned down a part in the 1997 film, "As Good as it Gets," because she objected to a scene in which a dog is thrown down a laundry chute.


  • 1940s - Has roles on several popular radio shows, including "Rin-Tin-Tin," "This is Your FBI" and "The Great Gildersleeve."
  • 1949 - Lands her first role on television on "Hollywood on Television," a live daily show.
  • 1975 - Wins Emmy Award for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."
  • 1976 - Wins Emmy Award for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."
  • 1985-1992 - Plays Rose Nyland on "The Golden Girls."
  • 1986 - Wins Emmy for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series for "The Golden Girls."
  • 1995 - Is inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
  • 1996 - Wins Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for "The John Larroquette Show."
  • January 23, 2010 - Is presented with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.
  • May 8, 2010 - Hosts "Saturday Night Live."
  • August 21, 2010 - Wins a Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, for her guest host spot on "Saturday Night Live."
  • 2010-2015 - Plays Elka Ostrovosky on "Hot in Cleveland."
  • February 12, 2012 - Wins Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Story Telling) for "If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't)."
  • December 2013 - Earns the Guinness World Record for Longest TV Career for a female entertainer (74 years).
  • April 26, 2015 - Receives a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.
  • August 18, 2018 - Betty White's career is celebrated with a documentary called Betty White: First Lady of Television.
  • 2019 - White voices a toy tiger named after her in Toy Story 4.