A love story is always fascinating and is also a good read. If this is so for you, you would definitely enjoy this article. The love story of comic actress Betty White and the love of her life, Allen Ludden is one for the ages. The couple found love on a game store and after two marriage proposals, Betty finally agreed to marry Allen and has described her marriage as the best 18 years of her life.
Betty White is the 4th Mayor of Hollywood, an honorary title conferred on her for her lengthy career in Hollywood, spanning 80 years. She is best known for her role in iconic sitcoms and television series such as The Tyler Moore Show and Golden Girls, whereas, Allen Ludden was a game show host. He is popular for hosting the game show series, Password. Let us take a peek at the lives and love affair of both screen personalities.
Betty White – Biography
Betty White was born on January 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois, as the lone child of Horace Lawrence White and Tess Curtis White. Horace was an electrical engineer who worked in a lighting company while her mother, Tess was a homemaker. Talking about her ancestry, Betty has Welsh, Canadian, Danish, English, and Greek roots.
She and her parents moved to Alhambra, California when she was two years old and later to Los Angeles. Betty White grew up during the period of the Great Depression, where there was serious economic depression that began in the US. Her father had to supplement his income by making and selling radio sets. Sometimes, he had to exchange radio sets for other goods.
Betty was a vibrant child while growing up; she attended the Horace Mann School in Beverly Hills and Beverly Hills High School. She never attended a university or got a degree rather, she picked interest in forest ranging and wildlife. White developed these interests on vacation trips she went on with her parents to locations like High Sierras.
Being an actress was not Betty White’s first choice neither was it her initial intent. Her first career choice was to be a forest ranger, but that could not be as women were not allowed to be rangers at that time. With that dream gone, she began writing and wrote a couple of plays for her high school – Horace Mann. Her career in performing arts began in 1939 with a singing role on the TV series titled The Merry Widow. Her first professional acting gig came a bit later at the Bliss Hayden Little Theatre.
She took a break from acting to participate in the American Women’s Voluntary Services during World War II. After the war, she began reading commercials and taking other minor roles on radio shows. In 1952, she began hosting her own shows. Prior to that, she partnered with two other producers to create her first show which she also starred in, making her one of the first women to be behind and in front of the camera.
She became more popular in 1973 after she appeared in the television series The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1973-79) where she played the role of Sue Ann Nivens, a man-hungry character. Asides acting, she appeared in various television game shows, one of which was hosted by her would-be-husband, Allen Ludden. Her efforts as an entertainer have been recognized and rewarded with several accolades and awards, some of which are the Daytime Emmy Awards, the prestigious Grammy awards, among others.
Betty White was married three times and while her first two marriages (Dick Barker in 1945 and Lane Allen in 1947) ended in a divorce – two years after they were contracted, her last marriage was to Allen Ludden who died in 1981.
Who is Allen Ludden – Betty White’s Husband?
Allen Ludden was born Allen Packard Ellsworth on October 5th, 1917. He was born to Elmer Ellsworth, and Leila M. Allen in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. His father passed away while he was still young, and his mother remarried a man with the last name Ludden, hence Allen’s last name. Nothing, however, is known about Allen’s education.
He is most popular as a television host and personality. He is best known for hosting a number of game shows such as GE College Bowl, The Joker’s Wild among other versions of the popular 1900 game show, Password. Prior to this, he was a youth coach who wrote on magazine column and spoke on the radio. One of his radio programmes was titled Mind Your Manners. Unknown to many, his entertainment career began when he served in the U.S Army as he was in charge of entertainment at the Pacific Theatre while there (in the army).
Allen was a great television and radio host and was rewarded for his work during his lifetime and also posthumously. While he was alive, he was awarded the Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host and the Horatio Alger Award. Posthumously, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He died on June 9, 1981, of stomach cancer.
Before his death, he was married twice. His first wife was Margaret McGloin with whom he had three children before her death. He later got married to legendary actress and television personality, Betty White on June 14, 1963, and was with her until his death.
How Did The Two Lovebirds Meet?
As mentioned earlier, the love story between Betty White and Allen Ludden is one that would make you want to fall in love. The couple first met on the game show, Password. Allen was the host and Betty was a guest. Allen took interest in Betty and the duo began dating soon after. Betty refused Allen’s proposal for marriage twice, but that didn’t deter Allen as he was lucky the third time. She agreed at his third time of proposing and the couple got married in 1963. Betty would admit later that Allen was the love of her life and the 18 years she spent with him before his death were the best years of her life.