A Golden Girl with a golden marriage. Betty White died just weeks before her 100th birthday, but the iconic actress had enough love to last her two lifetimes.
When she passed away on December 31, 2021, at the age of 99, White left behind an astounding legacy. The Mary Tyler Moore Show alum was halfway to an EGOT at the time of her death, having won the 2012 Grammy for Best Spoken Word Recording for her narration of her 2011 memoir, If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t), as well as multiple Emmys. The legendary actress also earned two lifetime achievement awards throughout her time in the industry, taking home the coveted trophy at the 2009 Screen Actors Guild Awards and winning the gold statuette at the 2015 Emmy Awards.
In addition to a critically-acclaimed career that spanned more than eight decades in television, the Golden Girls alum was just as successful in her personal life. Though she was married three times — first, to Dick Barker, for less than a year in 1945, and second, to Lane Allen, from 1947 to 1949 — it was White’s relationship with her third husband, Allen Ludden, that not only stood the test of time, but served as a romantic inspiration for her fans around the world.
The pair, who met on the set of Password in 1961 — Ludden was the host of the game show — went on to tie the knot in 1963. Though the couple had no children together, upon marrying the game show host, White became stepmother of his three kids. Ludden shared children David, Martha and Sarah, with his late first wife, Margaret McGloin, who died just prior to Ludden meeting White.
The Hot in Cleveland alum and television personality were married for 18 years before the game show host died of stomach cancer in 1981.
Thirty years later, when asked by Anderson Cooper why she never went on to date or remarry after Ludden, White responded, “When you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?” In 2015, she revealed that her one regret was not marrying Ludden sooner.
Days after the Proposal star’s death in late 2021, Mama’s Family actress Vicki Lawrence — who costarred with White on the hit sitcom — told The Hollywood Reporter that White’s assistant revealed that the actress’ last word was “Allen.”
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Keep scrolling to see White and Ludden’s relationship timeline: