On Monday, March 16 The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) revealed this year’s 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree: Actress, Comedienne, Author, and Humanitarian Betty White! The noted ceremony, to be broadcast via the Pop Network and televised at Warner Brothers Studios, will be beamed into homes across America on Sunday, April 26 2015 at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PDT.
Having received seven Emmy awards previously, Betty White’s career has extended over seventy years. Along with her noted roles as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Rose Neylund on The Golden Girls, to Elka Ostrovsky on Hot In Cleveland, she has appeared in numerous films, written eight books, and garnered copious awards not the least of which have encompassed her lifelong work surrounding animals and animal health and welfare.
White’s expertise in receiving Emmys spans over sixty years as, in 1952, she accepted her first for her very first comedy series Life with Elizabeth portraying the title role.
Braving the imbalanced gap between male/female ratios, White went on to host her own daily NBC talk/variety show aptly entitled The Betty White Show. From then on, she became a staple on programs such as The Tonight Show with Jack Paar, making over 70 appearances, The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and substitute hosted for all three!
White’s hosting responsibilities did not stop at talk shows however as she would additionally anchor The New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade for twenty years, along with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for ten years.
Continuing in the realm of variety shows, White created her own character Ellen on the much lauded Carol Burnett Show and would go on to further explore and portray said character on Mama’s Family with Vicki Lawrence.
Her rich history in Emmy consideration would continue with two Emmys for her portrayal of “Happy Homemaker” Sue Ann Nivens in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Her fourth Emmy would derive from her participation in Best Daytime Game Show Just Men. Garnering an Emmy for her first season in 1985 as Rose Nylund in The Golden Girls, she would receive seven nominations total and go on to appear in the landmark sitcom’s spinoff The Golden Palace for one season. Her next Emmy Award under the category Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series would be earned for The John Larroquette Show. But perhaps the most noted, if not recent Emmy nomination in 2011 has come from her portrayal of the snide and good-naturedly cantankerous, yet ever adorable Elka Ostrovsky on the mega-hit TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland in which she costars with Valerie Bertinilli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick. As a testament to White’s popularity on said program, it is interesting to note that she also won back-to-back Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Comedy Series in 2011 and 2012. To top it all off, she most recently garnered a 2015 People’s Choice Award for Favorite TV Icon. This is hardly surprising however considering that the 2010 episode of Saturday Night Live White hosted, at the behest of a facebook fan page dedicated to the concept’s honor no less, was one of the highest rated in history. This, in turn, would go on to earn her an Emmy Award for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series!
Having written eight books, her latest include If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t) circa 2011 for which she won a Grammy, and Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo, also released in 2011.
White’s additional awards are manifold and encompass her 2009 Career Achievement Award from the Television Critics Association, a 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Jane Goodall institute, her 2010 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award along with a 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award in Acting from the American Women in Radio and Television. Additionally in 2010 she was voted AP Entertainer of the Year and in 2011 was given a Lifetime Achievement Award along with being inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.
An ardent devotee of animal health and welfare, Ms. White acted as a Los Angeles Zoo Commissioner for eight years and served on the board since 1974. She was most recently dubbed Chairman of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. In 2006 she was honored at the Los Angeles Zoo by the City of Los Angeles as “Ambassador to the Animals”. Betty began as a trustee of the Morris Animal Foundation 1971 and is now President Emeritus of the self same organization!
“Betty White is an American institution,” declared President of NATAS, Bob Mauro. “Betty’s career as a female pioneer has followed television from literally the beginning of the medium, winning her first Emmy Award in 1952, to the digital-streaming future, winning again in 2011. She is one of the most beloved female performers in the history of television and the National Academy is proud to be honoring her with a most well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award.”
According to Senior Vice President, Daytime, David Michaels, “From her iconic dramatic turn as Ann Douglas on ‘the Bold and the Beautiful’, to her classic sitcom performances, to her movies and books, Betty is a woman who has excelled in everything she has ever done. She is also one of the nicest women in show business and we are proud to be bestowing this honor on such an exemplary role model for our entire industry.”
And as far as Lifetime Achievement forerunners go, Ms. White is in exceedingly good company having been preceded by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Merv Griffin, Dick Clark, Bob Barker, Phil Donahue, Regis Philbin, Alex Trebek and an illustrious host of others.
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