28 Important Things That Came and Went During Betty White’s Lifetime

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Betty White, whose career in entertainment spanned eight decades, died on Dec. 31, just weeks before her 100th birthday. 

A lot happened over the lifetime of the beloved television icon. To determine things that came and went during Betty White’s lifetime, 24/7 Tempo used sources like Wired and Britannica to compile a list of companies, products, programs, and national borders that were both created and ceased existing between White’s birth on Jan. 17, 1922, and her death on the last day of 2021.

White lived through the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. She witnessed the  crusade for civil rights for Black Americans, the ascendance of the feminist movement, and humankind’s journey into space. She was born when radio was in its infancy and died in a world obsessed with social media. (At the time of her passing, she had 1.6 million followers on her Twitter feed @BettyMWhite.) 

Fashion, style, language, and music trends came and went, and White lived on.

Though she appeared in some movies, the Illinois-born White was best-known for her television career, where she won five Emmys. Known as the “Queen of Television,” she first starred in a series, called “Life With Elizabeth,” in 1952. Beginning in the 1960s, she was a frequent celebrity guest on game shows such as “Match Game,” “Hollywood Squares,” and “Password,” the latter show hosted by her husband, Allen Ludden. (These are the actors who have won the most Emmys.)

Her cheerful persona on the daytime TV game shows was in comedic contrast to her role as the devious happy homemaker Sue Ann Nivens on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Later, White played an airhead on the sit-com “The Golden Girls,” a role that she reprised on three other series. In 2010, she returned to the sit-com format as a frisky house caretaker in “Hot in Cleveland.” That same year, White was featured in a Snickers commercial that aired during the Super Bowl.

White certainly had staying power. She was the last surviving regular cast member of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Golden Girls,” and at 88 years old, she was the oldest person to host “Saturday NIght Live” in 2010. (Everyone agrees that she was one of the best SNL celebrity hosts of all time.)

Throughout her career, she was a tireless advocate for better treatment of animals, a supporter of gay rights, and an inspiration for environmental organizations. As one of her fans tweeted upon her demise, “Live your life so that if you die at 99, people will say you died too soon.”

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