She’s 96 and has no plans to retire. Betty White is a Hollywood icon and the subject of a new PBS documentary titled: “Betty White: First Lady of Television.” It details her rise to stardom as a beloved actress and comedienne.
Steven J. Boettcher, who co-directed the film, revealed that after nearly 80 years in showbiz, White still loves working.
“She told me, ‘I’m going to be in the saddle forever,’” Boettcher recently said. “She loves working; she loves the challenge. She’s someone that we’re all better off for that she’s lived this long.”
While the film is set to premiere on August 21, White and her closest friends were able to see it back in January during her birthday celebration.
“It was at her party with 400 of her closest friends,” said Boettcher. “When it was over, she asked, ‘Does it have too much Betty White?’ It was so cute!”
White, who has been acting since she was in her early 20s, and she was eager to let viewers know that she takes nothing for granted.
“I got an award for everything: inhaling, exhaling,” she joked. “I’ve been so spoiled rotten. I’m the luckiest old broad on two feet. Truly! I’ve always been working at something.”
Boettcher said it took 10 years to complete the upcoming movie, giving him a personal and extensive look at White’s life and career.
“We spent a great deal of time with her [on this project’ and she never said a bad word about anyone,” he explained. “Through her career, every cast and crew member loved working with her. She’d remember every one of those names, their kids and most importantly, the names of their pets!”
White told Parade Magazine she always wanted to become a star and she visited numerous Hollywood studios during her 20s. She had hopes of making her mark, but she was frequently turned down for being “unphotogenic.”
That didn’t stop Betty White.
“You just keep plugging away,” she said at the time. “You don’t give up.”
Her persistence has paid off. She got her big break in the TV series “Life with Elizabeth,” which aired from 1952 until 1955. She was also a regular guest on the hit game show “Password” from 1961 until 1975, where she met the love of her life, host Allen Ludden. They were married from 1963 until his death in 1981 at age 63 from cancer.
“Not long enough,” she said about her relationship with Ludden.
According to the six-time Emmy winner and last living star from the hit ‘80s sitcom “The Golden Girls,” the secret to success is enjoying life.
“Accentuate the positive, not the negative,” she explained. “It sounds so trite, but a lot of people will pick out something to complain about, rather than say, ‘Hey, that was great!’ It’s not hard to find great stuff if you look.”