Hollywood icon Betty White's career as an actress began in 1945 when she starred in a short film titled Time To Kill. Today, the entertainer holds the record for having the longest television career of any female actress. Unarguably, Betty White is one iconic lady who could probably teach us all quite a few things. She turned 97 last January but shows no signs of slowing down. Her career as an actress is still as vibrant as ever.
With a collection of countless awards, including a Grammy, three American Comedy Awards, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards, Betty White's career is beyond impressive and one that generations have admired for decades.
Even though she is arguably the queen of Hollywood, Betty White maintains her endearingly humble demeanor, and that's another reason why we love her so much. She holds an arsenal of unforgettable roles under her belt, yet she never has lost her class.
Let's take a look through some of Betty White's best roles, and what made them so iconic.
10 SUE ANN NIVENS - THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW (1970 - 1977)
Sue Ann Nivens is commonly regarded as Betty White's breakout role. She was a major character on the significantly popular sitcom, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Both this series and Betty White's character still hold a very special place in many fans' hearts.
Most viewers remember Sue Ann Nivens fondly, due to Betty White's spot-on, unforgettable performances. She completely disappeared into this role, and that's why so many fans still love Sue Ann to this day.
9 ANN DOUGLAS - THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (2006 - 2009)
Just about every television perennial has starred in at least one soap opera in their career. Betty White is no exception, taking on the role of Ann Douglas in The Bold And The Beautiful. The show aired 8,000 episodes in total.
While Betty White, of course, did not appear in all that many episodes, she does remain one of the most memorable aspects of the show. She is very talented when it comes to breathing life into otherwise flat characters, and that is precisely how she managed to make her role of Ann Douglas, an iconic one.
8 MRS. DELORES BICKERMAN - LAKE PLACID (1999)
Betty White isn't necessarily your typical horror movie actress. In fact, her long career is almost completely horror movie-free, but then there's Lack Placid. Remembered by most as a fairly laughable, satirical horror flick that largely surrounded an imminent fear of man-eating crocodiles, Lake Placid is a classic. Not necessarily a good classic, but a classic nonetheless.
One thing that helps it maintain its iconic status, is the fact that Betty White stars in a small role. She mostly acts as comic relief throughout the film, and she does an awesome job. Horror fans won't soon forget the iconic time that Betty White starred in a horror film.
7 SHIRLEY WALLACE - MAYBE THIS TIME (1995 - 1996)
Today, most television watchers have almost completely forgotten about Maybe This Time, as the short-lived sitcom is relatively unknown by now. It aired only one season on ABC before being canceled. Most would consider this a very unsuccessful and forgettable attempt at creating a series.
But Maybe This Time did have one thing going for them, and that's the fact that Betty White starred in the main role for the series' very short run. That just goes to show you that Betty White is captivating in just about every kind of role she is given.
6 BITEY WHITE - TOY STORY 4 (2019)
Critics and fans alike are loving the most recent installment to the beloved Toy Story franchise. The fourth movie lived up to—and possibly even exceeded–very high expectations. After years of anticipation, Toy Story 4 was released in theatres and currently holds an almost perfect 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
What could make this already awesome movie even better? Betty White, of course. Her character is a cute plush tiger—one of Bonnie's oldest toys—and honestly, Betty White makes everything even better.
5 DR. BETH MAYER - BONES (2015 - 2017)
Betty White didn't appear in very many episodes of Bones, but she managed to make her character, Beth Mayer, completely unforgettable. Beth Mayer was a very outspoken doctor who had been married six times. An extremely memorable character, indeed.
Fans were delighted when Betty White reprised her role as Beth in Bones' last season, because what show doesn't benefit from a Betty White cameo?
4 ELKA OSTROVSKY - HOT IN CLEVELAND (2010 - 2015)
Betty White wasn't the main character of Hot In Cleveland, but she was undoubtedly the star. The series lasted for five years on TV Land, before being canceled in 2015. It was a fairly typical sitcom, and not much set it apart from other shows of its kind.
But Betty White, of course, managed to breathe some life into an otherwise fairly dull show. When remembering Hot In Cleveland, most fans will likely think of the captivating comedy that Betty White brought to the table.
3 CATHERINE PIPER - BOSTON LEGAL (2005 - 2008)
Boston Legal was a very successful comedy-drama series that aired from 2004 to 2008. It even won several awards, including an Emmy for lead actor, William Shatner. Boston Legal was very popular and well-loved, and when Betty White took on the role of Catherine Piper, she made it even better.
She appeared in sixteen episodes in total and certainly made them memorable ones. Betty White's performance was touching, heartfelt, and utterly hilarious - as always.
2 BEA SIGURDSON - THAT '70s SHOW (2002 - 2003)
That '70s Show was one of those gifts from the late '90s/early 2000s era, that television fans will never forget. It remains a pretty timeless series, still being referenced and quoted to this day.
Betty White did not have a starring role in That '70s Show. She only appeared in a handful of episodes, but she obviously made her recurring role memorable. Betty White starred as Bea Sigurdson, Kitty's mother. The most memorable thing about Bea was the fact that she appeared to be nice and sweet, but at heart, she was very rude and outspoken.
1 ROSE NYLUND - THE GOLDEN GIRLS (1985 - 1992)
Since The Golden Girls was such a long-running, successful show, most Betty White fans think of her most iconic role as being Rose Nylund, and with good reason. The Golden Girls was a wonderful series, but without Betty White, it wouldn't have been nearly as captivating and timeless.
Ditsy, sweet, well-meaning Rose is one of the most iconic members of the Golden Girls gang, and Betty White's portrayed of her is something utterly unforgettable and completely special.