You may or may not have heard, but Betty White is going to be 90 years old on January 17th. God Bless her! As I watch her perform on her new comedy series, “Hot in Cleveland,” every week I can’t help but wonder what her secret is to long life. I know she loves her hot dogs and vodka, but that can’t be it, those things are supposed to be bad for you. Of course, if someone discovers they’re not, I’d be willing to add both to my diet.
Betty White’s career is longer than most people have lived, over 70 years. She has been on many very popular television shows. Who can forget her character, Sue Ann Nivens, from the Mary Tyler Moore show? Or the ever much loved character of Rose Nylund, from the Golden Girls? And her most recent role as Elka Ostrovsky on Hot in Cleveland? Her recent Superbowl commercial got national attention and soon after a facebook movement began to get her to host Saturday Night Live, which she refused many times to do, until so many fans united to show their love.
In 1963 she married Password host, Allen Ludden. She met him while she was a guest on the show in 1961. Unfortunately, Ludden died in 1981 from bladder cancer and Betty never remarried. The couple had no children. I have always heard that Betty was a big animal lover and she has done decades of charity work in animal health.
But what is her secret to living a long and full life? All I can attribute it to is that she always did what she loved. She has been able to continue her career in acting on shows that were very well written, with actors who adored her, and the comedy was so funny that I am sure she had many laughs herself every day of her life. Betty White’s mind is still sharp as ever. She is quick witted and always manages to answer questions with her comedic quips. When I saw her co-host say that it was going to be Betty’s 90th birthday at an award show, the audience went wild with clapping, but Betty just said, “Don’t give me credit. I didn’t do anything to get to be 90. It just happened. I didn‘t accomplish anything. It just came up on me.”
I think she did do something. She follows her passion, she keeps on working, she laughs and makes others laugh. I think that’s the secret to a long and happy life. She lost her husband, the love of her life. She never had children. At 90 years old, she has seen many dear friends die before her and I’m sure family too. But, she never stopped laughing and working, and I think that is the real secret to living a long, healthy and happy life.
NBC will be doing a show to celebrate Betty White’s birthday and pay tribute to her career. It will air on Monday, January 16th, the day before her birthday. I plan to watch it. I grew up watching Betty White. She is one of the few treasures we still have around from our childhood.
P.S. I am adding hot dogs and vodka to my shopping list, just in case!