On May 8, 2010, Betty White became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live. Now at age 98, Betty shows no signs of slowing down. Here are five fun facts you probably didn't know about Betty White...
A Facebook Campaign Made Her the Oldest Person To Host SNL
In 2010, a grassroots campaign on Facebook called "Betty White to Host SNL (Please)" began. The group was approaching 500,000 members when NBC confirmed that White would in fact host Saturday Night Live on May 8, 2010. The appearance made her, at age 88, the oldest person to host the show. In her opening monologue, White thanked Facebook and joked that she "didn't know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time." The appearance earned her a 2010 Prime-time Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, her seventh Emmy win overall.
She Was Originally Supposed To Play Blanche
Betty originally auditioned for Blanche, the promiscuous Golden Girl. However, producers were worried that it would be too similar to her character on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. According to CBS, producers asked Betty and Rue McClanahan to switch roles, and the rest is history. White won the Emmy for outstanding actress in a comedy series for her portrayal. After the show's end, she reprised her role as Rose in the short-lived spin-off, "The Golden Palace."
She's a Guinness World Record Holder
Betty holds the Guinness record for the longest TV career for a female entertainer, dating all the way back to 1939. In 1995, Betty was rightfully inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame to honor her work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1973–1977) and The Golden Girls (1985–1992). White has received eight Emmy Awards in various categories, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy Award. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
She Turned Down An Offer To Co-Host The "Today" Show In the 1960s, NBC offered her an anchor job on their flagship morning show Today. She turned the offer down because she didn't want to move to New York (where Today is produced) permanently. NBC wanted White so much, the network offered to give her an apartment at the St. Regis Hotel and fly her back to California each weekend, but White said it didn't seem practical.The job instead went to Barbara Walters.
She Was Almost In As Good As It Gets
Betty White was offered the part of Beverly Connelly, onscreen mother to Helen Hunt, in the Oscar-winning movie As Good as It Gets. However, the animal lover did not approve of a scene where Jack Nicholson’s character tosses a small dog down a garbage chute. Being an animal rights activist, she didn’t want any viewers to get any ideas from the scene; in her book, she says she didn’t think it was very funny. She tried to get the scene removed from the script, but director James L. Brooks kept it and cast Shirley Knight for the role instead.