Monday, October 25, 2021

Betty White: More Fabulous Than She Seems (Part 2)

For Part 2 of my series on Betty White (originally planned as a nonfiction children's book), here's the opening of the book.


I’ve been a big fan of Betty White for decades. At one point it had been a few years since she was actively in the public eye. That’s when I spotted her in 1999 as the crazy lady who feeds a ginormous, man-eating alligator like it is a stray dog in the movie Lake Placid. What a perfect, nutty part for her! My fondest memories of Betty come from her roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls. I loved her as the quirky grandmother in The Proposal, and Betty was the best part of Hot in Cleveland.

She is the definition of a Sassy Dame. You never know what she's going to say, whether it is scripted on a TV show or live on one of the many game shows she participated in over her career. But you could be sure it would be with a twinkle in her eye, very feisty, and always funny.

But there is so much more to Betty White’s life than what we see on the TV or movie screen. And so much more to love! Reading Betty White’s autobiography, Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo, I knew I’d found a kindred spirit. Just like Betty, I could spend hours sitting in front of one exhibit and watching the creatures inside. One of the greatest moments in my life was the day a dolphin at Sea World came right up to me at the side of the tank. She lifted up out of the water and opened her mouth to me, just like they do for the trainers. That dolphin stayed there a full minute while I touched her gently on the top of the nose and cooed like a 6-year-old girl. My family had to drag me away because I kept hoping she’d come back. I’m sure Betty would understand.

My teenage daughters are also big fans. Learning that Betty has a room full of stuffed animals in both of her homes, and talks to them like they are alive, did nothing to change this. I freely admit to having a huge collection of mini-plush characters, and I speak to them often. My daughters have been just as attached to their hundreds of “soft friends” since before they could talk. We think a visit with Betty’s collection would be delightful.

As I was considering the general idea of a series of books on amazing women for teen readers, Betty White came to mind immediately. I mean, how many actors out there have had a Facebook campaign set up to get them to host Saturday Night Live? When I asked my daughters if they would enjoy a biography of Betty White, but one written to their age level, interest, and well, attention span, they said that would be great. 

So keep reading, and I hope you discover that Betty White really is more fabulous than you realized.

Upcoming posts (by chapter) will include:

Chapter 1                   Hopes and Dreams

Chapter 2                   Animal Friends

Chapter 3                   Animals at Home

Chapter 4                   Marriage and Family

Chapter 5                   Beginnings of a Career

Chapter 6                   Sue Ann and Rose

Chapter 7                   Facebook and Snickers

Chapter 8                   Hot and Off Her Rocker

Chapter 9                   Stage Fright and Awards Shows

Chapter 10                 Advice and Success

Chapter 11                 Being 90

I guess that last chapter will have to be redone to "Being 100"! I'm sure she'll drop some great quotes about it when the day draws near. 

See you next week!