When I was a young actor, I had the pleasure of working with amazing individuals who indelibly imprinted their character on my soul. One was Betty White. I loved Betty White. Not only did she look like my mom, she was on every game show I liked, and starred in my favorite sitcom of all time – The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The show that helped me through my family’s darkest times. The show that made me want to be a television actor.
I’d never seen a role like Sue Ann Nivens. She was as sweet as tupelo honey with the bite of a viper. I watched in awe as I rolled on the floor laughing. I’m not sure how many times I’ve done my version of Betty’s “Sue Ann” to get a job.
In 1990 I got to work with Betty, my queen of comedy, on The Golden Girls. I played the TV daughter to the great Harold Gould’s “Miles.” Miles wanted to marry Rose and I did not approve. I had to be mean to Rose. I had to be mean to Betty White. I have never had that much fun. Betty was kind, funny and ribald. Everything you would expect.
Betty was a huge philanthropist. She not only gave to animal charities but she participated in and donated to local events & causes. Rancho Los Amigos & TreePeople were two of the many. I would see her at events and reintroduce myself to her. How could she possibly remember me after the hundreds of thousands of people she had met over her lifetime?
The last time was at TreePeople. It must have been at least ten years since I had worked with her and I went up to her and began my spiel, “Hello Betty, I’m…” – She turned to her friend and said, “Now watch as Molly reintroduces herself to me for the 100th time.” In one swift moment she made me laugh at myself and made me feel like a million bucks. Betty White remembered me. Me!
Well Betty, I and the rest of the world, will always remember you. May you rest in peace. For all the joy and laughter you have brought, you deserve it.