The Legacy of Betty White


(Artwork/Kayla Zhang ’24)

Jahnavi Bhalla, Online Staff Writer

On December 31, 2021, Betty White, otherwise known as the “first lady of television” passed away. White made her first big marks in the film industry by appearing on famous sitcoms. The most notable role she played was Rose Nylund from The Golden Girls. The beloved American sitcom tells the story of four older women and their home in Miami, Florida. The many family bonds formed over this well-produced sitcom made it one of the most famous shows in American history. 

Beginning in the early 1940s, White’s career was praised by many for being exceptionally long lived. Chief among them was the Guinness World Records Committee, and in 2014 and in 2018, White won the Guinness world record for the longest career in TV as an entertainer. Further on, she hit many national milestones by being the first woman to receive an Emmy nomination and the first woman to be a star in sitcom shows. Later in life, she transitioned to game shows as a panelist. Her raw and realistic performance  charmed many young individuals, with Senior Joe Lippman being one of them. As Lippman said, “She’s one of those names that everybody knows for a reason, and it’s because her talent kept her in the spotlight for pretty much her entire life! Her sense of humor and her likability made her the icon she was.” 

Many heartbroken fans couldn’t agree more with Lippman’s take. Her death has resonated with many Americans who lost one of their most iconic and beloved comedic figures. White had made an undeniable presence as the first woman in comedy. Her successful career paved the way for many future  young women to make a name for themselves in the comedic industry. Celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon and Michelle Obama paid their tributes to the deceased star. Many others tweeted about her awe-inspiring performances and shows, highlighting the many laughs they had while watching her. While Betty White is no longer with us, she still lives on as a comedic legend in the hearts of many Americans, and will do so for the many years to come.