Thursday, January 17, 2013
Rant #885: Hot At 91
Actress Betty White turns 91 today.
There are plenty of 90 year old and over people around today. We have extended our lifestyles, and some people also have good genes.
I think Betty White has good genes, looks good in jeans, and heck, she has carved a niche for herself as the "grand dame" of TV actresses around today.
Her career pretty much started off modestly.
Early on, I guess she had to eat, and she posed for a game card, yes, topless. Just about everybody knows that.
But she persevered, and was one of TV's first stars, starring on some early TV sitcoms in the late 1940s and early 1950s, including "Life With Elizabeth."
But for a good portion of her life, she was in the shadow of her more famous husband, another big TV star.
Alan Ludden hosted one of the best game shows on TV, "Password," for years.
He was as much associated with that show as Dick Clark was for "American Bandstand."
This means he did other things, but you really couldn't separate Ludden from "Password," not even with a crowbar.
White was the actor in the family, and she had many roles while he did his thing, but the two were definitely inseparable, and she appeared on "Password" dozens and dozens of times, in all of its incarnations.
And she was an excellent player, too.
As an actress, she made a tremendous name for herself as the Sue Ann Nivens character on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," but the character was almost one to pity, so self absorbed in her own endeavors that she could never see the forest for the trees, so to speak.
Later, she was a semi-regular on other game shows, such as "Match Game."
She seemed to excel on game shows, and at one point, I will bet that she was better known as a game show celebrity than she was as an actress.
Ludden passed on, and her career seemed to be at a crossroads. White continued to do game shows, but that genre was fizzling out. She continued to act, but in mainly nondescript parts.
She was an older actress, really with no place to go.
But then she was one of the stars of "The Golden Girls," a show that was about older ladies and their comings and goings. I have to say that personally, I never got into this show, but I know for others, this was a very popular sitcom, one of the last great sitcoms in some people's minds.
America rediscovered this priceless treasure a few years back, when she was the star of a commercial that ran during the Super Bowl.
From that point on, she has been magic to the networks and even off network as one of the most popular actresses today.
Yes, with all the fake breasts, phony egos, and inflated personalities, 91-year-old Betty White has risen to the top of her profession, at least on TV.
She is one of the stars of one of TV's funniest shows, "Hot in Cleveland," which runs on TV Land. The show is raunchy fun, so well written that you almost forget that most of the show revolves around sex.
And yes, that includes White's character too, amidst the other 40-, 50-, and 60-something actresses who co-star with her on the show.
She wasn't even supposed to be a regular on that show. She was originally a guest star, but she took to the role like butter takes to bread, and she was made a regular.
And she makes the show funny.
She also has an irregular TV game show, which the less said about the better, but heck, this lady is HOT! right now.
Finally, after decades in the business, she can basically write her own ticket.
Once best known as Ludden's wife, and then for her crusade for animals, she is now TV's top actress, if not TV's top actor, period.
Here's to Betty White, who is actually older than Popeye, who also celebrates a birthday today.
Heck, I would take White in a minute over Popeye, I really would.
But they share one thing:
The are both "strong to the finish," but White doesn't appear to even see the finish line yet.
Good for her.
Posted by Larry at 3:05 AM