This Sunday, TV legend Betty White turns 94, and while she’s known for her surprise cameos and various small-screen roles – from Elka Ostrovsky on Hot in Cleveland to Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show – Betty White’s most loved for her role as the sweet and clueless Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls.
The Golden Girls TV series, created by Susan Harris, first aired in 1985 and ended in 1992.
In a 1987 Today interview, White opened up about Rose’s character.
“Now, Rose isn’t slow-witted; she just marches to a different drum, that’s all,” White explained. “Rose believes anything anybody tells her and she takes each word at its surface meaning; she never looks for the overall meaning. And sometimes she backs into unfortunate situations.”
Betty also added that the rapport she shared with co-stars Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur, and Estelle Getty was an important factor in the sitcom’s success.
“We are having so much fun, there should be a law against it. We work well together, because everybody’s professional, but off-camera, we adore each other. And it’s a privilege to go to work,” she continued.
“If the four of us did not get along or support each other, I don’t know how you can be funny. I really don’t.”
When The Golden Girls came to its close in 1992, White and the girls starred in The Golden Place, a spin-off sitcom that originally aired on CBS from Sep. 18, 1992, to May 14, 1993.
In 2013, White was recognized by the Guinness World Records for the longest TV career for a female entertainer.
For her 93rd birthday, the cast and crew on the set of the now-canceled sitcom Hot in Cleveland greeted her with a choreographed hula dance number and a banner that read “Happy Birthday Betty.” And it was all caught on video.
Shortly after her 93rd, White starred as the host of Saturday Night Live. During the show, White made out with American Sniper star Bradley Cooper in a skit celebrating the show’s 40th anniversary.
— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) February 16, 2015
In April, White was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 42nd annual Daytime Emmy Awards. And in June, the actress joined the millennials by creating an Instagram account. Since then, her account has accumulated 296,000 followers.
Betty may be in her 90s, but she’s nowhere near retirement. In a 2014 interview with Parade, White said, “Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They are going to get rid of me that way.”
This year White kicked off her birthday week with an appearance on The Late Show with James Corden. According to White’s Twitter account, she found herself tucked in between the handsome Jack Hanna and New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire.
— Betty White (@BettyMWhite) January 13, 2016
Today, White tweeted out “Nothing like spending your birthday with a friend or 8 if they’re good looking!”
— Betty White (@BettyMWhite) January 17, 2016
Other friends and fans took to Twitter to wish Betty a happy 94th.
— Slash Sydney (@slashsydney) January 17, 2016
Everyone should aspire to be more like Betty White <3 #HappyBirthdayBettyWhite
— Almost Marilyn (@katismarilyn) January 17, 2016
Betty White is definitely an inspiration to all of us at her age of! I wish to be as fit and witty as you at 94! Happy Birthday Betty!!!
— La Toya Jackson (@latoyajackson) January 17, 2016
Professing my love for @BettyMWhite on her 94th birthday today! I adore you woman! There will never be another. Who DOESN'T love her???
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) January 17, 2016
[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]