The Golden Girls, Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan

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Alert the papers: today is a national holiday! OK, it's not actually a national holiday, but it is Betty White's birthday, which if we're being honest should be a national holiday.

Betty freaking White turns 97 years old today and all we can say is, bravo.

The legendary actress has the longest television career of any female entertainer and on her birthday that should be celebrate. Quite frankly, we should be celebrating The Golden Girls alum on a regular basis, but since today is the day we were blessed with her being born, we will settle for honoring her in spades all day long.

As we try and wrap our heads around the fact that White is now 97, we have something for you to do in order to really get in the spirit of Betty White day. Yes, we just renamed January 17th as Betty White with it!

Since the iconic actress has been a Hollywood staple since the '50s when she nabbed her first big TV gig with Life With Elizabeth—her first role was in 1945 in the short film Time to Kill—there are a lot of roles we've seen her embody and bring to life.

Over the years, White has starred on TV show after TV show including memorable series like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Love Boat, The Golden Girls, Boston Legal and most recently Hot in Cleveland.

While we like each of these shows on their own, each series was enriched by White's presence for either its entirety or just a few episodes. She is truly a living legend and that's why we have to celebrate her birthday by looking back at all of her best roles.

Although White is known for her TV roles, she has had some hilarious movie moments as well including You Again and The Proposal. To see all of her best roles ever keep reading. Make sure to weigh in on which of the birthday girl's show or film roles is your all-time favorite below.

Happy birthday, Betty! We love you, your humor and your white curls!

Betty White, Life with Elizabeth

Getty Images

In 1952, Betty White landed her first lead on a TV series with Life With Elizabeth. On the show, she played Elizabeth, wife to Alvin (Del Moore), as fans tuned in to see the day-to-day events of the newly married couple. The black-and-white show had three short sketches and often broke the imaginary fourth wall for a unique watching experience.

Betty White, Date with the angels

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For two seasons, White played new bride Vickie Angel in the 1950s comedy show. Every episode followed Vickie and her insurance salesman husband Gus (Bill Williams) as well as their friends and neighbors.

Betty White, The Mary Tyler Moore Show

CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Oh, Sue Ann Nivens! Beginning in season four of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, White stepped into the role of Sue Ann Nivens, who to this day is one of her more memorable characters. Sue Ann was the neighborhood nymphomaniac, who works at the same network as Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore), but instead of working on the WJM news show, she is the star of The Happy Homemaker and talks about cooking, decorating and bizarre themed shows about fruit and famine. Off screen she is saucy, man-obsessed and super competitive, which only made us love her more.

Betty White, The Betty White Show

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The Illinois native played an over-the-hill TV star named Joyce Whitman on The Betty White Show. Throughout the series, fans saw Joyce trying to stay relevant, star on a terrible crime drama called Undercover Woman, directed by her ex-husband, all while living with a crazy roommate named Mitzi (Georgia Engel).

Betty White, The Love Boat

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The actress guest starred on five episodes of The Love Boat—the memorable series about romantic and hilarious tales of passengers and the crew on board the Pacific Princess—as both Louise Willis and Betsy Boucher from 1980 to 1985.

Betty White, Mama's Family

NBCU Photo Bank

White was a recurring character on Mama's Family, which was a spinoff of the skit "The Family" from The Carol Burnett Show starring Vicki Lawrence as Thelma "Mama" Harper. White played the eldest of Thelma's three children, Ellen, who was pretentious and avoided the rest of her family unless it suited her to be with them.

Betty White, The Golden Girls

NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Beginning in 1985, White played one of the four leads on The Golden Girls and won our hearts over with her portrayal of Rose Nylund. The series, which ran until 1992, was about four women who were either divorced or widowed and then became roommates in Florida. With Rose's sweet demeanor and eternal optimism, Blanche's (Rue McClanahan) love of all men, Dorthy's (Bea Arthur) strong and sassy command of the house and her mother Sophia's (Estelle Getty) witty and wild humor this show was quite a riot to watch every week.

Betty White, The Golden Place

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The Golden Palace was a short-lived spinoff of The Golden Girls following Blance (McClanahan), Rose (White) and Sophia (Getty) after they buy a hotel. Since Dorthy (Arthur) is married now, the trio has to fend for themselves and figure out what it actually takes to run a hotel.

Betty White, Maybe this time

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Julia Wallace (Marie Osmond) does everything in her power to stay away from dating and instead run the family-owned coffee shop she loves, but her mother Shirley (White) has other plans...making sure she doesn't give up on love.

Betty White, Ladies Man

CBS Productions

As the only man of the house, Jimmy (Alfred Molina) is trying to raise his 10-year-old daughter with his current wife Donna (Sharon Lawrence), and his teenage daughter Bonnie (Kaley Cuoco) from his first wife. To make things more complicated his mom Mitzi (White) is always around and he now has a new baby to help with...but it's a boy!

Betty White, That 70s Show

20th Century Fox Television

White was a recurring character on That '70s Show as Bea Sigurdson, Eric Forman's (Topher Grace) grandmother and Kitty Forman's (Debra Jo Rupp) mom. She was insane, totally passive aggressive and always yelling at her husband when she showed up in Wisconsin to pay the family a visit and it was hilarious. 

Betty White, Boston Legal

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Beginning in 2005 through 2008, the hilarious actress began her role as Catherine Piper on Boston Legal. Catherine was complicated to say the least, starting as Alan Shore's (James Spader) secretary at Crane, Poole, and Schmidt, killing a man who kept killing people with cast-iron skillets and committing armed robberies at supermarkets. Oh, and she was the firm's sandwich and cake lady for a little bit before accidentally blowing up her doctor when she set his office on fire. She was wild.

Betty White,

Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

What TV actress hasn't been on a soap opera, right? From 2006 to 2009, White played Ann Douglas, who was the long-lost mother of Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery), on the long-running soap.

Betty White, The Proposal

Touchstone Pictures

This comedy might be about a book publisher named Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) getting engaged to her assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) in order to keep her visa and stay in America, but White's Grandma Annie really steals the show. When the fake couple goes to Alaska to meet Andrew's family, Grandma Annie, or "Gammie" makes everyone laugh with her tiny dog, bridal dress fitting jokes and chanting in the woods.

Kristen Bell, You Again

Touchstone Pictures

White plays Grandma Bunny in this 2010 comedy. After Marni (Kristen Bell) realizes her brother is going to marry her high school bully, and her mother Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis) is faced with her high school foe, the two can't help but face off against their nemesis ahead of the wedding. Good thing Grandma Bunny is there for comic relief...until her high school rival appears at the reception!

Betty White, Hot in Cleveland

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White plays the sassy caretaker Elka, who lives in the guest house of Melanie (Valerie Bertinelli), Joy (Jane Leeves) and Victoria (Wendi Malick) in this TV Land comedy. After the trio of Los Angeles entertainment industry veterans is forced to land in Cleveland, Ohio on their way to Paris, they quickly discover that beauty and age perceptions are different than where they are from. This causes them to stay in Cleveland and rent a house where Elka is still residing, and causing some mayhem on her own.

Bones, Betty White


Even though White only appeared on two episodes of Bones, as Dr. Beth Mayer, the world's most experienced forensic anthropologist, both appearances were totally memorable. She definitely gave Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel) a run for her money in the lab and her sass was spot on.

Betty White's Best Roles
Which of Betty White's roles over the years is the most iconic?
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