Exclusive Portrait: Betty White’s New Book ‘If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won’t)’

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CHICAGO – It stands to reason that Betty White’s latest sitcom is called “Hot in Cleveland.” The veteran “Golden Girl” has had a hot and unprecedented late career surge, augmented by the Facebook campaign that resulted in her hosting Saturday Night Live in 2010. She was in Chicago recently to promote her new book, “If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won’t).”

Betty Marion White was born in 1922 in Oak Park, Illinois. Her family moved to Los Angeles during the Great Depression. She actually made her first television appearance in 1939, two months after high school, when she sang songs for an experimental L.A. TV station. After World War II, White had by that time her own radio show, and made her first commercial TV appearance in 1952.

She did TV and film (”Advise and Consent” in 1962) through the 1950s and ‘60s, appearing on the TV game show “Password” from 1961-1975. She married the first host of that show, Allen Ludden, in 1963. She also was designated “Queen of the Game Shows” with many appearances on “What’s My Line,” “To Tell the Truth” and “Match Game.”

Her celebrity fame was cemented in the 1970s and ‘80s with her roles on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (Sue Ann Nivens) and “The Golden Girls” (Rose Nylund, for which she won an Emmy). She continued to work throughout the 1990s in guest starring capacities, but it was her appearances in films “The Proposal” (2009) and “You Again” (2010) that inspired the SNL campaign. She currently stars as Elka Ostrovsky in the TV Land sitcom “Hot in Cleveland.”

Photographer Joe Arce captured the legend on May 7th at the Barnes & Noble bookstore at the Old Orchard Center in Skokie, Illinois, while she greeted admirers and signed her book “If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won’t).”

Still Golden: Betty White at Barnes & Noble Old Orchard Center, May 7th, 2011
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com.

“If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won’t)” by Betty White, is available at Barnes & Noble or wherever books are sold.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Senior Staff Writer

© 2011 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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