Betty White’s Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Getty Images Betty White has died.

Betty White has died at the age of 99, according to TMZ. The outlet confirmed the news with local law enforcement. She was at home at the time of her death. It is unclear if White had fallen ill or if she died of natural causes.

White was previously married three times, and, while she had three step-children, she never had children of her own. Her mother, Christine “Tess” White, was a homemaker, while her father, Horace Logan White, was an executive for a lighting company. Betty was an only child.

In 2018, White talked to Parade about the legacy she hoped to leave behind. When asked how she wants to be remembered, she said, “Warmly. I hope they remember something funny. I hope they remember a laugh.”

The “Golden Girls” actor would have celebrated her 100th birthday on January 17, 2022.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Betty White Had Three Step-Children

Getty ImagesBetty White.

Betty’s career in the entertainment industry began when she was just 8-years-old. And while she had success in television and film, she felt as though she couldn’t do it all — and thus, she never had children of her own.

“I’m so compulsive about stuff, I know if I had ever gotten pregnant, of course, that would have been my whole focus. But I didn’t choose to have children because I’m focused on my career. And I just don’t think as compulsive as I am, that I could manage both,” Betty told CBS Sunday Morning back in 2012, adding that she didn’t regret not having kids of her own.

Betty married Allen Ludden in 1963, and became a stepmother to his three kids. In 2009, actor Sandra Bullock told People magazine how Betty felt about being a bonus mom.

“Betty said, ‘You know what? I never had children biologically. I married someone who had three children. And how blessed I was to have those three stepchildren,'” Bullock told the outlet, according to Closer Weekly.

Her eldest step-child, David, has his Ph.D and is a published author. David’s younger sister, Martha, has her law degree, and the youngest Ludden, Sarah, opened a karate studio in Chicago with her partner.

2. Her Mother Was a Homemaker

Getty ImagesA headshot portrait of American actor Betty White wearing a veiled hat, circa 1955.

Betty grew up in Illinois, and her mom, Tess, was a homemaker. Betty was incredibly close to her mother, who taught her quite a few things growing up. In fact, she credited her mom with instilling the power of positive thinking in her.

“I’ve always been a cockeyed optimist. I got it from my mom. I’m gonna stick with it.” Betty told Fox News in a December 2021 statement.

3. Betty White’s Father Sold Radios During the Great Depression

Getty ImagesBetty White has died.

Betty’s father, Horace, worked for a lighting company, and also made radios on the side to make extra money for his family.

“During the Depression, my dad made radios to sell to make extra money. Nobody had any money to buy the radios, so he would trade them for dogs. He built kennels in the backyard, and he cared for the dogs,” White said, according to her IMDb page.

4. Betty White Was Married 3 Times

Getty ImagesBetty White.

Betty chose not to have children, but that doesn’t mean that she didn’t find love in her life. In fact, Betty was married three times. Her first marriage was to an army pilot named Dick Barker in the 1940s. The two didn’t last long, however; they married and divorced the same year.

According to Distractify, Barker lived on a farm in Ohio, and the life just didn’t quite suit Betty, who had her eye on the bright lights of Hollywood.

Betty would later fall in love again, tying the knot with Canadian actor Lane Allan. The two were married in 1947 but couldn’t make things work. They split just two years later.

In 1961, Betty met Allen Ludden when she was a guest on the gameshow “Password.” Ludden is often referred to as the love of Betty’s life. Although she didn’t really want to get married for a third time — according to Deadline, she turned down two of Ludden’s marriage proposals — she and Ludden tied the knot in 1963. The two stayed married until Ludden died of stomach cancer in 1981.

5. Betty White Was an Only Child

Getty ImagesBetty White.

Betty was raised as an only child.

“I’m an only child, and my mother and my dad loved [animals]. We had them as long as I could remember,” Betty told Parade back in 2018.

READ NEXT: Betty White Has Died

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