“Betty White is an American institution,” said Bob Mauro, President, NATAS. “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 2010. 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.”
“Betty White is the 'First Lady of Game Shows,'” said Senior Vice President, Daytime, David Michaels. “Betty was the darling of Password, where she met the love of her life, Allen Ludden, and a favorite on Match Game, The $25,000 Pyramid, and countless others. She was the first woman to receive an Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host in 1983 for the show, Just Men. 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.”
Ms. White will be joining an illustrious group of previous Lifetime Achievement Honorees including, Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Merv Griffin, Dick Clark, Bob Barker, Phil Donahue, Regis Philbin, Alex Trebek and many others.
Betty White has had a legendary career that has spanned more than 70 years. Along with her seven Emmy Awards, she has created unforgettable roles in television and film, authored eight books and won numerous awards, including those for her lifelong work for animal welfare.
White's first comedy series, Life with Elizabeth, brought her first Emmy Award in 1952, followed by a daily NBC talk/variety show called The Betty White Show. She was a recurring regular with over 70 appearances on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar, and appeared on The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. She also subbed as host on all three talk shows. White was a regular with Vicki Lawrence on Mama's Family, as her sister Ellen, a role she created with the rest of the company on The Carol Burnett Show.
Her recurring role as Happy Homemaker Sue Ann Nivens in the classic series The Mary Tyler Moore Show brought two Emmys for Best Supporting Actress in 1974-75 and 1975-76. She received her fourth Emmy for Best Daytime Game Show Host for Just Men. Nominated seven times for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Rose Nylund in The Golden Girls, White won the Emmy the first season in 1985, and later appeared in the spin-off The Golden Palace for one season. She earned her next Emmy Award as Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series on The John Larroquette Show.
White was nominated for an Emmy in 2011 for her portrayal of Elka, the snarky but lovable caretaker on the TV Land series Hot in Cleveland, in which she stars alongside Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick. Betty also won back-to-back Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Comedy Series in 2011 and 2012. In addition, Betty won a 2015 People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Icon.
When she hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live in 2010, it was one of the highest-rated episodes in the show's history, and earned her an Emmy Award for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
Betty hosted the New Year's Day Tournament of Roses Parade for 20 years, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for 10 years. Her big-screen credits include the Warner Brothers hit The Proposal, with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, as well as You Again, Bringing Down the House, The Story of Us, Lake Placid and Hard Rain.
The most recent of her eight books include “If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't”), released in May, 2011 which earned Betty a Grammy Award. “Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo,” was released in November, 2011. Betty has also been named the world's Most Trusted Celebrity according Reuters for back to back years.
White's awards are numerous, and include the Career Achievement Award in 2009 from the Television Critics Association, a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Jane Goodall Institute in 2009, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2010, and a Lifetime Achievement Award in Acting in 2010 from the American Women in Radio and Television. She was voted AP Entertainer of the Year in 2010, and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award in addition to being inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2011.
A passionate supporter of animal health & welfare, White was recently named Chairman of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, has served on the board since 1974 and as a Zoo Commissioner for eight years. In 2006, White was honored by the City of Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Zoo as “Ambassador to the Animals” for her lifelong work for animal welfare. Betty also serves as President Emeritus of Morris Animal Foundation and has been a trustee since 1971.
She was married for eighteen years to Allen Ludden, host of the game show Password, until his death in 1981. Betty resides in California with her golden retriever, Pontiac.