Betty White

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Seven-time Emmy winner Betty White talks about her career and her thoughts on friendship, romantic love, aging, television, fans, her love for animals, and the world of celebrity. Her memoir If You Ask Me (and of Course You Won’t) mixes her observations with humorous stories from her seven-decade career in Hollywood, including candid takes on everything from her rumored crush on Robert Redford, to her beauty regimen, to the Facebook campaign that helped persuade her to host “Saturday Night Live.”


Betty White

Comments [21]

Susan from milwaukee wi


Why not try asking Oprah the same question? You will get a very similar answer. Children do not valid you. Also.. when a woman and I am sure there are more the Oprah and Betty White.. have such unique talents, it would be criminal not to use them and share them with the world on the platforms they have created. They did not pursue money. They pursued their passions and talents. Perhaps a little later in life and life happens. You get caught up in your career and the work starts to boom in many directions. Many woman would not feel okay leaving the child with a Nanny. Some do. It is a personal option. For a man in today's world to think that all woman need and want kids is ignorant to say the least. My issue is why not ask the single men 30 and older why they don't have children? It is a sexist question and woman are no longer validated by having children. But... for their accomplishments. I don't know of one mother whom has either the talent or close to of Betty White Or Oprah. Yes.. along with great success comes money. However.. both Betty White and Oprah have and continue to do good in the world with the careers they have made. Rachel Ray.. never had kids either. Neither did Sandra Lee .. on the Food Network. There are many actress's who did not have children and some whom say they don't want them. The world is over populated enough. Is is not? You need to ask more intelligent questions. Or.. the same to men. It is not longer a man's world. Especially... where talent is concerned. The world needs more talented people to help this world out. We are in huge crisis. If a woman can use and back up her talents and succeed in life without a man or children, who is anyone to question it?

Sep. 05 2012 11:27 AM
lora from Cincinnati

Although it MAY seem tacky to some viewers that Leonard brought up the no kids subject, it seemed too obvious to not bring it up. She responded, and they moved on. No big deal. She seems like a very caring and nurturing person, I too was curious, but he didn't push the topic.

May. 09 2011 12:17 PM
a g from n j

i don't see the insenstive questioning. do you all realize that this is a great person[woman], who has lived a life around sophisticated and subtle people, whom also, may say things in a seemingly blunt way at times. ironically, i think you all minimize her, and yourselves as women, by seeing ghosts where they don't abide. btw- is an insensitve question to a man possible,or is the default presumption that we're all a bunch of cave dwelling louts anyway, so who cares...silence speaks volumes.

May. 05 2011 11:56 PM

I agree 100% with Betty White. I don't believe in animal "rights," I'm into animal welfare. (Do animal "rights" include voting rights? I guess we'll start seeing PAC animals.)

May. 05 2011 02:24 PM
Rachel from Brooklyn

She made it quite clear that she was happy with her choice when she said that she never once regretted it. She wa also quite complimentary to women who have chosen to habe both, so there was no reason to assume that she was 'protesting too much' and that there was dirt to dig up there. In that moment it seemed as if Leonard couldn't accept that any woman would honestly make that choice and be happy about it.

May. 05 2011 01:09 PM

Betty White chose not to have children but the writer you interviewed chose to have four and adopt five? Two different people, two different choices. Betty White has accomplished more than 99% of us have and she didn't need children to validate her. I love your show but I was really surprised at this kind of insensitivity. Especially from you.

May. 05 2011 01:04 PM
Loren from CT

Looks like I wasn't the only one uncomfortable with Mr Lopate's line of questioning regarding Ms. White's choice to not have children. It seemed pointless to put her on the spot about a private choice and her responses made me respect her even more. Did you want tears and declaration of regret? How does listing women who juggle careers and parenting help-did you want her to concede that she had made a mistake? I didn't think think that this was a forum for hearing a judgmental tone regarding a woman's choice.

May. 05 2011 12:53 PM
Rebecca Meng from NYC

P.S. What were you thinking with the "animals as baby-replacements" question? That is just backwards thinking that draws up really negative stereotypes about women. So surprised Leonard! You're usually so thoughtful! I hate attacking your show like this, because I'm a fan, but this was seriously out of line.

May. 05 2011 12:48 PM
Rebecca from NYC

Hi Leonard,
Love your show, but I just want to let you know that you were completely out of line when your line of questioning turned to children and the female work/life balance. Ms. White obviously is not an expertise on the subject (she has no children) and seemed uncomfortable when you would not drop the subject. I know you didn't mean it, because I listen to your show all the time and feel like I have a general sense of your manner, but it was incredibly rude to compare Ms. White to other famous women who happen to have children. Not all women are the same. Not all women desire to be parents. And I wonder why you never ask successful men about their work/life balance. I assume this inappropriate behavior was a mindless slip, but I hope you will apologize to Ms. White, and pay more attention to your assumptions in the future. Thank you.

May. 05 2011 12:45 PM
Rachel from Brooklyn

Leonard, great interview, but would you have asked a Man the question about not having children?

May. 05 2011 12:45 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I hope Betty White's new show gives her more to do than play against the stereotype of a sweet-looking old woman. One of my favorite moments on "Golden Girls" was Rose's riff on her cousin the flautist playing a large ancient Scandinavian instrument called the flaut, & just as Dorothy was buying into it, Rose turns it around & says, "Of course she plays the flute!"

May. 05 2011 12:38 PM
Elysia from CT

Come on Leonard, NOT EVERYONE HAS TO HAVE CHILDREN. And asking her these questions...she's had a wonderful full life and continues to. It's 2011...stop the 'barefoot & pregnant' queries please!

May. 05 2011 12:35 PM
Catherine Nieves from Massapequa

Dear Betty, I'm 54 and watched you on Password with my grandmother when I was a kid. We loved you! My mom and I loved you on Mary Tyler Moore. My 11yr old daughter's friends got her into the movie The Proposal and we loved you in that. We watched you together on SNL. AMAZING! Thank you for a lifetime of laughter!!

May. 05 2011 12:31 PM
laura o from NYC

If Betty could be one animal, what would she be?????

May. 05 2011 12:29 PM

Loves the Betty White!

May. 05 2011 12:28 PM
michael from brooklyn

Mrs. White, you are wonderful.

May. 05 2011 12:27 PM
don from idaho

Here you have a 90+ year old doll who makes far more sense than any of those ridiculous (e.g. "..mama like".."pledge drive atomizer") promos that clearly demonstrate the stupid aesthetic of the NPR crown. Go Betty...and maybe YOU should do their "ads"!

May. 05 2011 12:23 PM

I recall fondly the episode of St Elsewhere, where Betty is playing a military officer who is mistaken for Sue Ann from the MTM show by a mental patient at the hospital.

May. 05 2011 12:20 PM
Tonky from Red Hook

Please tell Ms. White thanks for making my alma mater St. Olaf College famous with her Golden Girls character.

Rose was from a fictional town called St. Olaf right?

It's quite a fantastic school, but that's our main claim to fame.

May. 05 2011 12:18 PM
laura from NYC

Betty, you are an inspiration to find a career that has longevity and meaning!!!

May. 05 2011 12:17 PM
Loren from Darien,CT

It was such a lovely surprise to turn on the radio and hear the voice of someone who has brought so much laughter into my life. Many thanks for featuring Betty White and for her work onscreen and with animals.

May. 05 2011 12:15 PM

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