In interviews, Betty White is humble; she doesn't act like she's been riding a tidal wave of glory since Facebook fans scored her a hosting gig on SNL last May. "I am just happy to be working at 88 1/2" she recently told the California Chronicle—and that comment epitomizes her style.
That said, modesty isn't about to keep this showbiz veteran from striking while the iron is White hot. In the weeks since her episode earned SNL its highest ratings in two years (and an Emmy nod for herself), the Betty White tide is still high.
For instance, she has single-handedly raised the profile of TV Land's Hot in Cleveland (Wednesday, 10 p.m. ET)—a sitcom that she'd originally only planned to join for one episode. "I really didn't want to do it," she told the Chronicle. "I agreed to do the pilot and…after it was picked up so quickly, they kept coming back with new offers and sweetening the offer. Things like I only had to work two or three days." Of course, the producers were simply being savvy: According to the show's website, the June 16 debut made it "the highest-rated and most-watched show in all of cable." Does anyone doubt that White's participation made that happen?
Not surprisingly, fans of the last surviving Golden Girl have begun gearing up for their next campaign: the host slot for either The Emmy Awards or the Oscars. But White quenched that fire before it got out of control. Perez Hilton recently quoted her putting the rumors to rest: "“I can tell you now I won’t be doing the Oscars, Emmys or any other awards," she told a Hilton source. "I was terrified out of my skin doing SNL so the Oscars is not going to happen. It’s too much.”
What she will make happen: She'll use her renewed fame to raise awareness for causes close to her heart. Some have chuckled at her decision to pose for "The Betty White Calendar 2011"—which features 12 months of (fully-clothed) Betty surrounded by scantily clad male models. But the move was strategic. Proceeds will go to the Morris Animal Foundation, where White, an outspoken animal lover, is the president emeritus. "I work so I can care for animals," she said.
In fact, she prioritizes them—which she explained during an interview with Starpulse:
What do you think is more important to you, your actual celebrity or the fact that you’re able to use your celebrity to contribute to your charities?
Betty White: Oh I think helping the animals is - that’s the lovely upside of any celebrity that happens. I'm not an animal activist. I'm not into anything political, demonstrations, or anything like that. I'm just into animal health and welfare. And have been with the Morris Animal Foundation, a health organization for 45 years, and with the Los Angeles Zoo for 45 years. Over the years of enjoying show business we've been able to help the animals.
Since her SNL stint, White has used her celebrity to raise money for wildlife scientists who are treating affected animals. And in this public service announcement, she helps out fund-raising efforts for pets with cancer.
Meanwhile, the White love keeps coming. Her next movie, September's You Again, stars Kristen Bell, but White stands at the center in the movie poster. And everybody seems to want to work with America's Grandma (who ironically isn't a grandma). According to Deadline Hollywood, Warner Brothers is considering re-making the 1977 comedy Oh, God!—with White in the George Burns/God role. Even Twilight author Stephenie Meyer has joked about getting White cast as a vampire in one of the Twilight movies. "Wouldn't it be amazing if she was like just sitting there with a big group of the Volturi?" she told eonline. "That would be amazing."
What would you like to see Betty White do next? Chime in below!
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