Actress Betty White was also a game show icon

Tributes to Betty White, who died on Friday at the age of 99, have focused on her acting career on shows such as “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Golden Girls,” her remarkable longevity as one of the pioneers of early television, and its rebirth as America’s most popular 90s.

On top of all of these elements, Betty White also enjoyed playing games – in a good way. She has appeared in hundreds of game show episodes and became the first woman to win a Daytime Emmy for Best Game Show Host, for hosting the short-lived “Just Men!” in 1983.

If Alex Trebek, who died at the end of 2020, was the last great game show host – starting his career when game shows were dominant and hosts hosted multiple shows over the course of their careers – White was perhaps the most great game show panelist, recalling a time when Hollywood figures were directing game shows. It is therefore not surprising that she has earned the nickname “first lady of game shows”.

Celebrity Panel Games

When White began his game show career in the 1950s, panel shows were all the rage – a trend that continued into the 1970s. The shows used a series of celebrities to guess a person’s profession. individual (“What’s my line?” and “I have a secret”), or choose the right person from a group of impostors (“To tell the truth”).

White has appeared on all three shows, along with many more. She worked on “Tattletales,” which featured celebrity couples chatting about their private lives. She also appeared in two of the most popular game shows of the 1970s – “Hollywood Squares” and “Match Game” – and “The $ 25,000 Pyramid” in the 1980s.

At that time, some celebrities could make a career working on TV game shows. Individuals like Arlene Francis (“What’s My Line?”) And Charles Nelson Reilly (“Match Game”) have become more famous for appearing on these shows than their previous careers. Richard Dawson, formerly famous for “Hogan’s Heroes”, turned his work on the “Match Game” into a second career by hosting “Family Feud” in the 1970s and 1980s.

“Password” at his heart

White used his love of game shows in another way, ultimately gaining a love of human variety. While I met my sister during my appearance on “Jeopardy!”, White met her latest husband, Allen Ludden, through their work on “Password”. White was a panelist in the show’s first season, in 1961, and the two tied the knot in 1963.

Ludden, the host of “Password,” courted White, who declined his first two proposals until he accepted the third. But while White might seem like a reluctant bride, her love for Ludden endured. When asked why she never remarried in the four decades since Ludden’s death in 1981, she usually responded with a rhetorical question: “Once you’ve had the best, who’s gone? need the rest? “

White was a panelist on all four versions of “Password”, appearing with the four hosts who succeed Ludden after the latter’s death. Her work opposite host Regis Philbin on “Million Dollar Password” in 2008 – at the age of 86 – struck a chord with her heartwarming nature, though White hesitated that she was too old for the type of guy. drama that the series involved.

When asked about “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” which she would like God to tell her if and when she gets to Heaven, White replied, “Hello Betty. This is Allen.

Hoping that the queen of game shows soon achieves her wish and reunites with her co-star. Requiescat in pace.