Celebrity

Betty White Net Worth: Pioneer of TV, Network Host & Author

Betty White was one of Hollywood's leading women, with an impressive career spanning eight decades. We look at her top quotes & net worth
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You’re never too old for anything.

– Betty White

If you’ve ever watched an episode of ‘The Golden Girls,’ you can’t help but notice the charm, charisma, and wit of ‘Rose Nylund,’ played by the legendary actress, Betty White.

Betty was one of Hollywood’s top leading women in sitcoms, with an impressive career spanning eight decades.

White comes from the early days of Hollywood and TV, where the Illinois-born actress cemented herself as one of the biggest names in television. While we’ll never forget her role in the Golden Girls, she also had a successful career as a comedian, network host, and author.


Betty White – The Facts

Net Worth:$75 Million
DOB:January 17, 1922 – December 31, 2021 (99 years old)
Country of Origin:United States of America
Source of Wealth:Actress, Conservationist
Updated:2022

At the time of her passing on December 31, 2021, Betty White had amassed a personal fortune of $75 million.

She was less than three weeks away from seeing her 100th birthday. Her career in TV and film was nothing short of mesmerizing, making her one of the biggest female talents of her generation.


Betty White – The Early Years

Betty White was born to parents Tess and Horace White in Oak Park, Illinois, on January 17, 1922. When Betty was barely a year old, her family decided to pack up and move to Alhambra, California. Shortly after that, the family moved to the city of Los Angeles, where Betty spent her childhood growing up in the Golden State.

Betty received her education at the Horace Mann Elementary School in Beverly Hills before moving to Beverly Hills High School. During her schooling, Betty developed a passion for the outdoors and animals. Her family would vacation in the Sierra Nevada, where Betty would create a connection with nature, leading her to aspirations of being a forest ranger.

In an interview with ABC news, Betty stated that she didn’t pursue this career option because the Park Ranger service did not admit women into the program. Some 80 years later, she would receive an honorary ranger designation from the US Forest Service.

During the ceremony, White wore a large-brimmed ranger hat, holding a plushie ‘Smokey the Bear’ doll, and a grin from ear-to-ear. After the awards ceremony, Betty said her parents would be more proud of this nomination than anything she managed to achieve with her Hollywood career.

At the time of her award ceremony, more than a third of rangers in the US Forest Services were women, a sign of the changing times. Betty said, “I was so pleased to look out and see all those women in their ranger uniforms.”


Betty White – Early Career

After graduating from Beverly Hills High School in 1939, Betty immediately found modeling and acting work. However, WWII broke out around this time, and Betty decided to put her Hollywood career on hold to serve in the US armed forces.

She signed up for the American Women’s Voluntary Service, spending her time transporting military supplies to posts across California. After finishing her role in the war, she focused her attention on her Hollywood career.

Initially, she wanted to get into movies but was turned down for roles by all the major studios. She turned to the radio after being told her look wasn’t photogenic. She was a hit on the airwaves, landing her first major deal with ‘The Betty White Show.’


Betty White – Later Career

Betty’s early ventures into radio saw her experience success with commercials and small appearances on major radio shows. After receiving plenty of positive reviews, she landed her own show, ‘The Betty White Show.’

While thrilled with her newfound success, Betty remained focused on breaking into film. Her breakthrough into screen acting came in 1949, as a co-host for Hollywood on Television, alongside Al Jarvis. Betty earned the title of the main host in 1952 after the departure of Jarvis. Betty earned an Emmy nomination for her performance on Hollywood on Television.

In 1952, White created a production company ‘Bandy Productions,’ with assistance from a producer and writer. The company released the show ‘Life With Elizabeth’ in 1953, with White taking the lead role. The nationally syndicated show was a hit, with Betty appearing in several commercials in the wake of her success.

NBC struck a deal with Betty in 1954, landing her with the TV version of ‘The Betty White Show.’ She had full creative control of the talk show, leading to decisions like hiring African-American performers and a  female director, which was a first at the time.

Unfortunately, these decisions seemed to be too far ahead of the times, with the Betty White Show being canceled after its first season on the air. She landed her first role in a TV sitcom, ‘Date with the Angels,’ but it ended badly for her.

White went ono play a role in a theatrical play in 1959 after the failure of Date with the Angels. She would go on to appear in gameshows during the early 1960s, with her first appearance in this genre being on ‘Password,’ followed by ‘Pyramid,’ ‘What’s My Line?’ and ‘I’ve Got a Secret.’

Her success in game shows led to her first appearance on film in the movie ‘Advise & Consent.’ Her growing recognition in Hollywood landed her a role on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the 1970s. Her tenure on the show saw Betty win three Emmys.

After the final episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show ended, White was given her own show. Once again, the program was called ‘The Betty White Show,’ the fourth iteration of her own branded show. Like the others, it didn’t last long, being canceled after a single season.

The 1980s saw Betty earn the moniker ‘The First Lady of Game Shows’, and she appeared on ‘Mama’s Family for a brief TV role. However, the breakthrough moment in her career came after landing the role of ‘Rose Nylund’ on the hit TV show ‘The Golden Girls.’

The show debuted on September 14, 1985, landing Betty an Emmy for her role. After the end of the Golden Girls in the early 1990s, White went on to land a slew of roles in TV shows like ‘Suddenly Susan’ and ‘Yes, Dear.’ In the 2000s, Betty landed roles in ‘The Practice’ and ‘Boston Legal.’

She became the oldest host of ‘Saturday night Live’ in 2010, booking a role in ‘Hot In Cleveland’ in the same year. She received $75,000 per episode for her role on the show.

White hosted and produced ‘Betty White’s Off Their Rockers’ from 2012 to 2014 and was honored with an NBC TV special ‘Betty White’s 90th Birthday.’ In 2019, she featured as a voice actor in ‘Toy Story 4,’ playing the role of ‘Bitey White,’ a toy tiger.


Betty White – Personal Life

Her first marriage was to Dick Barker, an Amry Air Forces pilot. The couple married in 1945 after the end of the second world war, settling in Ohio to raise a chicken farm. However, the marriage didn’t last a year, with the couple citing differences to end their relationship.

After ending her first marriage, White remarried Lane Allen, a Hollywood talent agent. The couple was married in 1947. However, they divorced in 1949 because Allen wanted her to end her career as an actress and settle down as a housewife.

Betty’s third and final marriage was to Allen Ludden, a popular American TV actor, with the couple tying the knot in 1963. The pair ended their marriage in 1981 after Allen Ludden passed away due to complications with stomach cancer.

Before her passing, Betty held close relationships with Hollywood A-list celebrities like Bea Arthur, Liberace, Lucille Ball, John Steinbeck, and Mary Tyler Moore. She will forever be remembered for her contributions to television and film.


Betty White – Animal Activist

Her passion for animals and the outdoors inspired Betty to become a Park Ranger. However, being unable to join the Forest Services, she decided on a different path in life. This move from nature to Tinsel Town didn’t dampen her feeling toward animals.

White used vast quantities of her personal fortune to fund several animal rights initiatives during her career. Betty worked with organizations like The ‘Morris Animal Foundation,’ the ‘Los Angeles Zoo Commission,’ ‘Actors and Others for Animals,’ and ‘African Wildlife Foundation,’ to name a few.

Vicki Lawrence, co-star of ‘Mama’s Family’ shared a story about White’s love of animals after hearing of her passing. Betty was a reliable actress and always on time for her performances. However, one day she arrived late to set, explaining that she came across two golden retrievers wandering around Sunset Boulevard on her way to the studio.

She stopped and herded the dogs into her car, taking them back to their owners before making her way to the set. She explained that she couldn’t face the thought of the animals being hit by cars and decided to help them, regardless of what it would cost her in her career.


Betty White – Real Estate Assets

Betty and Ludden paid $170,000 in 1978 for an undeveloped stand in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. The couple went on to build a 3,700 square-foot, 4-bed home on the site, with stunning views of the Pacific. Construction on the home ended in 1981, with the couple only enjoying a few days in their new home before Allen passed away.

Betty lived in the home for the duration of her life. Her heirs placed the property on auction in 2022 after her passing. The asking price for the house was $8 million. After a bidding war, the property sold for $10.775 million.

Betty and Allen also bought a home in the Brentwood neighborhood of LA in 1968, five years after they married. Her heirs listed this property for $10.575 million in April 2022. The home ended up selling for just under $10.7 million a month later.


Betty White – Who Inherited Her Estate?

After her passing on December 31, 2021, Betty White’s estate attorney did not publicly disclose the terms and conditions of her will. At the time of her death, it’s believed White had a net worth of $75 million, including close to $22 million in real estate.

Betty White didn’t have any children with her partners, so there was no direct blood-relation heir to her estate. However, she had three step-children with Allen Ludden, Martha, Sarah, and David, and they were chosen as the heirs to her estate.

It’s assumed that White also left a sizeable amount of her estate to several animal charities. Sources added the majority of Betty’s fortune would go towards charitable ventures for non-profits benefiting animals.

Betty was known as an animal rights advocate throughout her life, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see a sizable portion of her $75 million net worth go to causes supporting animal rights. We’re confident it’s what she would have wanted.


Famous Betty White Quotes

Betty White on Life and Aging

Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren’t going to get rid of me that way.


I think older women still have a full life.


I have no regrets at all. None. I consider myself to be the luckiest old broad on two feet.


I may be a senior, but so what? I’m still hot.


Betty White on Animals

Animals don’t lie. Animals don’t criticize. If animals have moody days, they handle them better than humans do.


You can always tell about somebody by the way they put their hands on an animal.


When I’m around animals, I don’t pay attention to people.


Betty White on Comedy

Laughter keeps everyone feeling wonderful.


Doing drama is, in a sense, easier. In doing comedy, if you don’t get that laugh, there’s something wrong.


Humor is like music. It’s a rhythm, and you just kind of get the rhythm of it, and you have to know not to let the beat go too long, but to leave a beat in there for it to gel, you know.

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Oliver Dale is Editor-in-Chief of MoneyCheck and founder of Kooc Media Ltd, A UK-Based Online Publishing company. A Technology Entrepreneur with over 15 years of professional experience in Investing and UK Business.His writing has been quoted by Nasdaq, Dow Jones, Investopedia, The New Yorker, Forbes, Techcrunch & More.He built Money Check to bring the highest level of education about personal finance to the general public with clear and unbiased reporting.oliver@moneycheck.com