Legendary film and TV star Betty White died last week – just weeks before what would have been her 100th birthday.
Before her death, there were plans to celebrate White’s centennial birthday on January 17 by showing a new movie titled Betty White: 100 Years Young in select movie theaters on that day — and that day only.
“I’m going BIG for my birthday — right to the BIG SCREEN!” Betty White wrote on social media.
Now, Steve Boettcher and Mike Trinklein, the film’s directors, have announced they will “go forward” with plans to show the film on January 17. It is their hope that the film “will provide a way for all who loved her to celebrate her life—and experience what made her such a national treasure,” they explained.
The film now is simply titled Betty White: A Celebration.
“Our hearts mourn today with the passing of Betty White. During the many years we worked with her, we developed a great love and admiration for Betty as a person, and as an accomplished entertainer,” Boettcher and Trinklein said. “We are thankful for the many decades of delight she brought to everyone. Betty always said she was the ‘luckiest broad on two feet’ to have had a career as long as she did. And honestly, we were the lucky ones to have had her for so long.”
A Legendary Career
White, who was born in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, in 1922, had roles on several popular radio shows before making the move to TV in 1949. That’s when she became a co-host of Hollywood on Television.
In the 1970s, White earned even more fame on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Over her career, White has won five Emmy Awards, and two of those awards were for best supporting actress in a comedy series while she was on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
White is perhaps best known for her work starring as Rose Nyland on the long-running series The Golden Girls, which also starred Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty, and Bea Arthur. White won another Emmy for best actress in a comedy series in 1986.
White also starred in The Proposal with Sandra Bullock, before starring in Hot in Cleveland with Wendie Malick, Jane Leeves, and Valerie Bertinelli.
In addition to five Emmys, White has received a host of other awards, including the Screen Actors Guild’s Life Achievement Award and TV Land’s Legend Award.
The secret to her success, White told People last year, is to be positive and maintain a sense of humor.
“Don’t take yourself too seriously,” White said. “You can lie to others — not that I would — but you cannot lie to yourself.”
A Final Interview
White granted exclusive access to filmmakers Boettcher and Trinklein to make the movie celebrating her birthday. In what is now her final interview and film, the filmmakers followed White through her day, including filming behind-the-scenes clips, along with clips of White working with her office staff, entertaining at home, lending her voice as an animal advocate, and, of course, celebrating with friends.
“We didn’t want this day to pass without bringing together all the people that love her, from her co-stars and friends to her many millions of fans of all ages, to celebrate her 100th birthday with an entertaining and loving look at what makes Betty a national treasure!” Boettcher, the film’s producer and director, said in a statement promoting the film last month.
If you love Betty White, you’re sure to enjoy Betty White: A Celebration, which is now a fitting tribute. It includes clips from White’s work as Rose on Golden Girls, her now-famous turn hosting Saturday Night Live, her Super Bowl/Snickers commercial, her role as Elka on Hot in Cleveland, and, of course, her legendary work as Sue Ann on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
A number of White’s friends and co-stars also appear in the movie. They include Ryan Reynolds, Tina Fey, Carol Burnett, Valerie Bertinelli, Wendy Malick, Robert Redford, Lin Manuel- Miranda, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
How To Celebrate Betty’s Life
Betty White: A Celebration will only be shown on January 17, what would have been White’s 100th birthday, at select movie theaters. You can find information about theaters in your area showing the movie, showtimes, and ticket information here.
To help you get ready for the big day, you can watch a trailer for the movie, which, of course, stars White and a number of her friends. You can watch the trailer here.