Betty White, Queen of Class, Finally Gets Her Due

Even with those quasi-innocent double-entendres, that immaculate delivery and batting eyelashes make us all suckers

Last Updated: January 27, 2010 @ 12:06 PM

Isn’t it great that Hollywood has finally recognized the great talent that embodies Betty White?

This is a classy lady, despite her propensity for rude remarks and quasi-innocent double entendres. Octogenarian-Betty gets a pass, due in part to that immaculate delivery and batting eyelashes make us all suckers.

It’s not an age-sympathy thing, either. If all 80-somethings were as witty and wise-cracking as she … for that matter, knock the age requirement down to 60-year-olds.

Betty White was never a Hollywood raving beauty, but she was hot in her day. And wisely, she took to character acting, scoring great gigs on “Mary Tyler Moore” and “The Golden Girls,” a prescient homage to feminism and ageism. She may have played dopey and innocent, but we know better. Who said Hollywood was full of cynics?
Late-night’s darling, naughty grandma Betty is still wickedly right-on, dead-pan and can entertain most so-called entertainers, under the table. She can steal a scene in any crappy, sappy television movie she’s ever been in. Even some of the recent junk she made, including “The Proposal,” which she stole from one-trick pretty pony Sandra Bullock.
By the way, didn’t they seem to genuinely like each other, as evidenced by Bullock’s stepping out of camera-shot? And their obvious affection has been cited in interviews so I choose to believe it, Hollywood or not. Maybe I’m getting soft. But the movie still tanked. As one Joy Behar-impersonator might say, “So what? Who cares?”
The only problem I have with seeing Betty is what I’m not seeing. For those who remember, she was married to Allen Ludden, seemingly her perfect mate, for 18 years. They were an incredible couple, one of those Hollywood rarities — where the spouses seemed to genuinely adore one another. It was a pairing that translated to the small screen. Before color and computer animation. White & Ludden were the small-sized “It” couple, the kind you can imagine visiting over the holidays.
The two of them on the fabled “Password” game still evokes the ease of presence they sported separately and naughtily together. There’s no real reason why this small nod to a true glass-ceiling-breaking actor merits your time.
Other than she is a fantastic actor, an amazing human being and an incredible inspiration.
Inside the industry and out.

Naomi Serviss has covered Broadway, celebrities, lavish resorts and high-end spas. Based in New York City, she's still hooked on Hollywood.