Betty white with a massive brown bear

Betty White would undoubtedly be included on any list of the most beloved actresses of all time.

She was born as an only child on January 17, 1922 in Illinois. Her family relocated to Los Angeles shortly after.

She got her first position at a small television station and started her first show, “Life With Elizabeth,” in the early 1950s.

But it was “The Mary Tyler Show” that catapulted her eight-decade-long career. She demonstrated to the audience that, beneath her charming smile, she possessed a biting wit that kept those around her on their toes.

For most people, Betty is best known for her role in “The Golden Girls.”

The show featured the lives of four elderly female friends and lasted seven seasons as one of the top-rated series on the television.

It was nominated for multiple accolades, including an Emmy for Betty. Betty has worked regularly throughout the years, but her career took off again in 2010 when she starred in a funny candy bar commercial for that year’s Super Bowl.

Her popularity grew as a result of a Facebook campaign, and she became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live.

Despite her reservations, she told Newsweek, “It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. It was really funny stuff, but it was a challenge.” 

Betty’s most distinguishing and vital job, however, is her animal charity efforts .“I have to keep acting so that I can afford to keep doing my charity work!”   she told the Hollywood Reporter. She will be the first to acknowledge that her biggest love is animals.

She has been involved with the Los Angeles Zoo and the Morris Animal Foundation for over 40 years. “I’m truly the luckiest old broad alive,” she says.

Half my life is working in a profession I love and the other half is working with animals.” Betty’s friend, Tom Sullivan, is quoted saying, “I believe Betty White can charm the savage beast. Though Betty always treats people with dignity, respect, and charm, she has a far closer relationship to animals than she does people.”   

Betty recalls how, as a youngster, her family would pack up and camp in the High Sierras for three weeks, never seeing another human being.

Her parents also had a strong affinity for animals, as she jokes,  “I think they were so disappointed when I was a baby that they had a baby and not a little animal.”

 “Betty is going to be remembered as a very kind person, a loving person, an extremely terrific actress, and comedian. But I think she really wants to be remembered as one who gave most of her life to animals.’ 

With all of this, it’s no wonder that Betty is at ease among animals. She is casually sitting close to a large brown bear named Bam Bam at the Los Angeles Zoo in the video below.