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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Betty White: Staying interested and curious

“Don't try to be young. Just open your mind. Stay interested in stuff. There are so many things I won't live long enough to find out about, but I'm still curious about them. You know people who are already saying, 'I'm going to be 30 - oh, what am I going to do?' Well, use that decade! Use them all!” – Betty White

Happy Birthday to my wonderful friend Betty White, who turns 94 today.  Age is definitely a state of mind for Betty, and she told me once to never think about growing old – just about “growing better.”  Great advice.

There’s not much to be said about Betty that most readers don’t already know.  Best known, perhaps, for her Emmy Award winning roles as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls (when I first got to know her personally), she’s the only actress to ever be on two shows named by The Writers Guild of America on its list of the 101 Best Written TV Series Of All Time.  “The writers are the stars of every really successful sitcom,” the modest Betty agreed.

She is the only woman to have received an Emmy in all performing comedic categories, and also holds the record for longest span between Emmy nominations—her first in 1951 and her most recent in 2011.  She’s also a gifted writer and has written 7 best-sellers, including the wonderful Betty & Friends:  My Life at the Zoo, about her friends, the animals, at the Los Angeles Zoo.
While I can’t swear to this, of course, I would say that if animals could talk, they would tell us they admire her as much as she does them.  And, of course, you would be hard-pressed to find a person who doesn’t like Betty.  When I asked her once what she thought was the secret to that "likability" factor she exudes – something so many strive for but so few achieve – she replied, “I just make it my business to get along with people so I can have fun.   It's that simple.” 

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