Betty Marion White Ludden (January 17, 1922 – December 31, 2021) was an American actress and comedian. A pioneer of early television, with a career spanning eight decades, White was noted for her vast work in the entertainment industry and being one of the first women to work both in front of and behind the camera. She was the first woman to produce a sitcom (Life with Elizabeth) in the United States, which contributed to her being named honorary Mayor of Hollywood in 1955. White is often referred to as the “First Lady of Television”, a title used for a 2018 documentary detailing her life and career.
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White earned a Guinness World Record for “Longest TV career by an entertainer (female)” in 2014 and in 2018 for her lengthy work in television. White received eight Emmy Awards in various categories, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy Award. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was a 1995 Television Hall of Fame inductee.
On the morning of December 31, 2021, White died in her sleep at her home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles from a stroke she had on Christmas Day. She was 99. Her remains were cremated and given to Glenn Kaplan, who was entrusted with carrying out her advanced health care directive.