12 Jan Betty White, A Disney Legend
Actress and Disney Legend, Betty Marion White Ludden, passed away December 31, 2021, just 17 days before her 100th birthday. Her charm and humor graced many screens over her successful ninety year acting career. Of course, White’s magic has crossed paths many times with the most magical company on earth, The Walt Disney Company.
Bob Iger, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of The Walt Disney Company stated earlier this week, “Rest in peace Betty White, our Golden Girl, our friend, and our neighbor, your wit, your charm, your warmth and your smile will always be with us.”
Betty White was honored in 2009 with the title of Disney Legend, an honor given to those who have used their extraordinary gifts and talents to bring to life the magic of Disney. She was honored for her role as Rose Nylund on the instant hit series, The Golden Girls. She brought Rose to life with humor and wit. Rose’s innocent questions and gullible nature would have one laughing the whole twenty minute episode, and she quickly became an audience favorite. She was inducted as a Disney Legend alongside the other three stars of the show, Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty, and Rue McClanahan. During the induction ceremony, Miss White wanted to clear the air about a little Disney rumor, she states,
“I want to put to rest the rumor that somebody started that I used to babysit for Walt when he was a little boy. I didn’t!”
The exterior of The Golden Girl’s house was in Disney’s MGM Studios ( Now, Hollywood Studios) back lot. The famous house was part of Disney’s Backstage Tour ride, the house was taken down in 2003 after hurricane damage and to make room for Disney’s Lights, Camera, Actions attraction. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is now where the house used to reside.
Betty recalled begging her parents for a Mickey Mouse doll when it first came to stores, and keeping it on her desk throughout the years. Miss White joked,
“The miracle of miracles is that I not only got to work for Disney many years ago… [but] I’m still working for Disney. They haven’t caught on to me yet!”
She adored working with Disney as much as they loved working with her. Most recent Disney credits include the voice of Round in Disney’s Whispers: An Elephant Tale, Mrs. Kline in Bringing Down the House and Grandma Annie in The Proposal. She has worked with Disney and Pixar in Toy Story 4 and the Disney+ Original Series, Forky Asks a Question as Bitey White, a toy tiger named after the Disney Legend herself.
All of The Golden Girls episodes are now streaming on Disney Plus. As much as Betty White will be missed, her talents will live on through The Walt Disney Company for generations to come-As that is one of Disney’s greatest missions and accomplishments, finding gifted talent to create Disney Magic and keeping it alive.