Betty White: First Lady of Television (2018)

DailyView: Day 248, Movie 346

Betty White passed away on New Years Eve 2021, just three weeks away from her 100th birthday, and the world felt the loss. I’m not sure there was a more beloved figure of the past 20 years than Betty White. So in honor, I wanted to watch something for the DailyView featuring Betty. However, I had seen Lake Placid and The Proposal, a few of the other films with Betty in it was real low on the Tomatometer, and the choices were limited.

That was when I found this documentary from 2018 on Netflix called Betty White: First lady of Television and it was perfect.

The doc looked back on Betty’s life from her early days, including talking about a TV show I had never heard of, called Life With Elizabeth. Of course, the doc spent more time on Mary Tyler Moore, The Golden Girls and Hot in Cleveland, which the iconic actress starred.

It talked about Betty’s love of game shows and games and how that love of games shows, in particular, Password led to her meeting and falling in love with Allen Ludden, the host of Password.

The doc talked about how Betty was able to reinvent herself, after appearances on The Roast of William Shatner and SNL into someone who was known for saying outrageous things. She became more than just another sitcom star. She became an icon.

The number of “talking heads” that they got to come on this doc and say how much they loved Betty was like a who’s who including Ryan Reynolds, Valerie Bertinelli, Tina Fey, Alex Trebek, Carl Reiner, Georgia Engel, Gavin MacLeod, Tom Sullivan and Mary Tyler Moore.

They touched on Betty’s love of animals, which could probably be an entire doc on its own. They showed a clip of Betty at a zoo hand feeding a grizzly bear that sat beside her and put its head on her shoulder. It was amazingly charming.

And that was what Betty White was, charming. She spent decades on the TV screen, entertaining us with her wit and her comedy, her musical ability and her presence. She truly was one of a kind.

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