Connect with us
BMW

College Football

Betty White, TV’s Golden Girl, Dies at 99

Published

on

FILE - Actress Betty White poses for a portrait on the set of the television show "Hot in Cleveland" in Studio City section of Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 9, 2010. Betty White, whose saucy, up-for-anything charm made her a television mainstay for more than 60 years, has died. She was 99. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Betty White, whose saucy, up-for-anything charm made her a television mainstay for more than 60 years, whether as a man-crazy TV hostess on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” or the loopy housemate on “The Golden Girls,” has died. She was 99.

White’s death was confirmed by her longtime agent Jeff Witjas in a phone call Friday with publicist Pam Golum. White would have turned 100 on Jan. 17, 2022.

She launched her TV career in daytime talk shows when the medium was still in its infancy and endured well into the age of cable and streaming. Her combination of sweetness and edginess gave life to a roster of quirky characters in shows from the sitcom “Life With Elizabeth” in the early 1950s to oddball Rose Nylund in “The Golden Girls” in the ’80s to “Boston Legal,” which ran from 2004 to 2008.

But it was in 2010 that White’s stardom erupted as never before.

In a Snickers commercial that premiered during that year’s Super Bowl telecast, she impersonated an energy-sapped dude getting tackled during a backlot football game.

“Mike, you’re playing like Betty White out there,” jeered one of his chums. White, flat on the ground and covered in mud, fired back, “That’s not what your girlfriend said!”

The instantly-viral video helped spark a Facebook campaign called “Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!,” whose half-million fans led to her co-hosting “Saturday Night Live” in a much-watched, watch-hailed edition that Mother’s Day weekend. The appearance won her a seventh Emmy award.

A month later, cable’s TV Land premiered “Hot In Cleveland,” the network’s first original scripted series, which starred Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick as three past-their-prime show-biz veterans who move to Cleveland to escape the youth obsession of Hollywood. They move into a home being looked after by an elderly Polish widow — a character, played by White, who was meant to appear only in the pilot episode.

But White stole the show, and the salty Elka Ostrovsky became a key part of the series, an immediate hit. She was voted the Entertainer of the Year by members of The Associated Press.

“It’s ridiculous,” White said of the honor. “They haven’t caught on to me, and I hope they never do.”

By then, White had not only become the hippest star around, but also a role model for how to grow old joyously.

“Don’t try to be young,” she told The AP. “Just open your mind. Stay interested in stuff. There are so many things I won’t live long enough to find out about, but I’m still curious about them.”

Such was her popularity that even White’s birthday became a national event: In January 2012, NBC aired “Betty White’s 90th Birthday Party” as a star-studded prime-time special. She would later appear in such series as “Bones” and Fireside Chat With Esther” and in 2019 gave voice to one of the toys, “Bitey White,” in “Toy Story 4.”

White remained youthful in part through her skill at playing bawdy or naughty while radiating niceness. The horror spoof “Lake Placid” and the comedy “The Proposal” were marked by her characters’ surprisingly salty language. And her character Catherine Piper killed a man with a skillet on “Boston Legal.”

But she almost wasn’t cast as “Happy Homemaker” Sue Ann Nivens in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in 1973. She and her husband, Allen Ludden, were close friends of Moore and Moore’s then-husband, producer Grant Tinker. It was feared that if White failed on the show, which already was a huge hit, it would be embarrassing for all four. But CBS casting head Ethel Winant declared White the logical choice. Originally planned as a one-shot appearance, the role of Sue Ann (which humorously foreshadowed Martha Stewart) lasted until Moore ended the series in 1977.

“While she’s icky-sweet on her cooking show, Sue is really a piranha type,” White once said. The role brought her two Emmys as supporting actress in a comedy series.

In 1985, White starred on NBC with Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty in “The Golden Girls.” Its cast of mature actresses, playing single women in Miami retirement, presented a gamble in a youth-conscious industry. But it proved a solid hit and lasted until 1992.

White played Rose, a gentle, dim widow who managed to misinterpret most situations. She drove her roommates crazy with off-the-wall tales of childhood in fictional St. Olaf, Minnesota, an off-kilter version of Lake Wobegon.

The role won her another Emmy, and she reprised it in a short-lived spinoff, “The Golden Palace.”

After her co-star Arthur died in 2009, White told Entertainment Tonight: “She showed me how to be very brave in playing comedy. I’ll miss that courage.”

White’s other TV series included “Mama’s Family,” as Vicki Lawrence’s irascible mother; “Just Men,” a game show in which women tried to predict answers to questions directed to male celebrities; and “Ladies Man,” as the catty mother of Alfred Molina.

“Just Men” brought her a daytime Emmy, while she won a fourth prime time Emmy in 1996 for a guest shot on “The John Larroquette Show.”

She also appeared in numerous miniseries and TV movies and made her film debut as a female U.S. senator in Otto Preminger’s 1962 Capitol Hill drama “Advise and Consent.”

White began her television career as $50-a-week sidekick to a local Los Angeles TV personality in 1949. She was hired for a local daytime show starring Al Jarvis, the best-known disc jockey in Los Angeles.

It was then she got a tip to start lying about her age.

“We are so age-conscious in this country,” she said in a 2011 interview with The Associated Press. “It’s silly, but that’s the way we are. So I was told, ‘Knock four years off right now. You’ll be blessing yourself down the road.’

“I was born in 1922. So I thought, ‘I must always remember that I was born in 1926.’ But then I would have to do the math. Finally, I decided to heck with it.”

White proved to be a natural for the new medium. She was bright, pretty and likable, with a dimpled, eye-crinkling smile. A 1951 Los Angeles Times headline said: “Betty White Hailed as TV’s Busiest Gal.”

“I did that show 5½ hours a day, six days a week, for 4½ years,” she recalled in 1975. Jarvis was replaced by actor Eddie Albert, and when he went to Europe for the film “Roman Holiday,” she headed the show.

A sketch she had done with Jarvis turned into a syndicated series, “Life With Elizabeth,” which won her first Emmy. For a time she did interviews on “The Betty White Show” in the daytime, filmed the series at night and often turned up on a late-night talk show. She also appeared on commercials and every New Year’s narrated the Pasadena Rose Parade.

With the glib tongue and quick responses nurtured in the Jarvis years, she was a welcome guest on “I’ve Got a Secret,” “To Tell the Truth,” “What’s My Line” and other game shows — all the way up to the 2008 “Million Dollar Password,” which revived the game once hosted by Ludden, whom she had met when a contestant on his original “Password.”

That was in 1961, and the next year, while touring in summer theater during television’s off season, she starred with Ludden — by then a widower with three children — in the comedy “Critic’s Choice.”

White, who had claimed to be “militantly single” since a 1947-1949 marriage, weakened in her resolve.

“I had always said on `The Tonight Show’ and everywhere else that I would never get married again,” she told a reporter in 1963. “But Allen outnumbered me. He started in and even the children got in the act. And I surrendered — willingly.”

The marriage lasted from 1963 until his death from cancer in 1981.

Off-screen, White tirelessly raised money for animal causes such as the Morris Animal Foundation and the Los Angeles Zoo. In 1970-1971, she wrote, produced and hosted a syndicated TV show, “The Pet Set,” to which celebrities brought their dogs and cats. She wrote a 1983 book titled “Betty White’s Pet Love: How Pets Take Care of Us,” and, in 2011, published “Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo.”

Her devotion to pets was such that she declined a plum role in the hit 1997 movie “As Good As It Gets.” She objected to a scene in which Jack Nicholson drops a small dog down a laundry chute.

In her 2011 book “If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t),” White explained the origins of her love for dogs. During the Depression, her dad made radios to sell to make extra money. But since few people had money to buy the radios, he willingly traded them for dogs, which, housed in kennels in the backyard, at times numbered as many as 15 and made White’s happy childhood even happier.

Are there any critters she doesn’t like?

“No,” White told the AP. “Anything with a leg on each corner.”

Then what about snakes?

“Ohhh, I LOVE snakes!”

She was born Betty Marion White in Oak Park, Illinois, and the family moved to Los Angeles when she was a toddler.

“I’m an only child, and I had a mother and dad who never drew a straight line: They just thought funny,” she told The Associated Press in 2015. “We’d sit around the breakfast table and then we’d start kicking it around. My dad was a salesman and he would come home with jokes. He’d say, `Sweetheart, you can take THAT one to school. But I wouldn’t take THIS one.′ We had such a wonderful time.”

Her early ambition was to be a writer, and she wrote her grammar school graduation play, giving herself the leading role.

At Beverly Hills High School, her ambition turned to acting, and she appeared in several school plays. Her parents hoped she’d go to college, but instead she took roles in a small theater and played bit parts in radio dramas.

Explaining in 2011 how she kept up her frantic pace even as an octogenarian, she explained that she only needed four hours of sleep each night.

And when asked how she had managed to be universally beloved during her decades-spanning career, she summed up with a dimpled smile: “I just make it my business to get along with people so I can have fun. It’s that simple.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

College Football

ESPN Events and the Orlando Sports Foundation Announce Title Sponsor of 2022 Cure Bowl

Published

on

Photo: Matt Pendleton/USA TODAY.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Duluth Trading Company will be the title sponsor of the 2022 Cure Bowl, ESPN Events and the Orlando Sports Foundation announced today. The 2022 Duluth Trading Cure Bowl will be played at 3 p.m. ET on Friday, December 16 at Exploria Stadium – home of Major League Soccer’s Orlando City SC – and will be televised nationally on ESPN.

The Duluth Trading Cure Bowl matchup will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 4 with participating teams from the American Athletic Conference, Sun Belt Conference, Conference USA or Mid-American Conference.

“We are honored to have such a strong national brand like Duluth Trading Company join as title sponsor of the 2022 Cure Bowl, as the bowl continues its mission of bringing teams together to find a cure for cancer,” said Cure Bowl Executive Director and Orlando Sports Foundation CEO Alan Gooch.

“Duluth Trading Co. is proud to support the fight against cancer as the title sponsor of the Cure Bowl,” said Neala Shepherd, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience. “At Duluth Trading, we acknowledge the impact that cancer has had on the lives of our customers, employees and communities. Regardless of who you are cheering for, the one thing that unites all college football fans is the hope for a world without cancer.”

The Duluth Trading Cure Bowl is one of 17 college football bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events.

Continue Reading

College Football

UCF’s Football Venue, the Bounce House, Gets a New Name

Published

on

UCF's football stadium gets a name change. Photo: University of Central Florida.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: UCF // The UCF Athletic Association and FBC Mortgage, LLC, have combined on a naming rights agreement for the Knights’ home football stadium that takes effect beginning with the upcoming 2022 season and will brand the UCF football venue as FBC Mortgage Stadium.

 

The 10-year, $19.5 million deal means UCF football teams will play their home games in FBC Mortgage Stadium through the 2031 football season. The new arrangement begins July 1–following its approval today by the UCF Board of Trustees.

“It’s an exciting day for UCF Athletics and for FBC Mortgage to be able to collaborate on the naming of our football stadium,” says Terry Mohajir, UCF vice president and director of athletics.

 

“Sellouts have become the norm at UCF. Our game day experience has been widely recognized–and I believe it is second to no one. Knight Nation has established the atmosphere at FBC Mortgage Stadium as one of the best in the country.

 

“We are building the future of college football here at UCF. This represents the next step for us as we reimagine our football campus—and we’re excited to have FBC Mortgage join us on our journey.”

“FBC was founded in 2005 in downtown Orlando, and we are very proud to partner with our hometown university, UCF,” says Rob Nunziata, FBC Mortgage co-CEO. “We would like to thank the UCF athletic department, especially athletics director Terry Mohajir and assistant athletics director Malik Thomas who worked very hard to make this sponsorship a reality…Go Knights!!”

 

“With many of our employees having attended UCF, this was a natural fit for FBC Mortgage–and it also helps us achieve our national growth expansion with a great partner in UCF,” says Joe Nunziata, FBC Mortgage co-CEO.

 

The first UCF football game to be played at FBC Mortgage Stadium will be the Knights’ 2022 season opener Thursday, Sept. 1, against South Carolina State (7 p.m. ET on ESPN+).

 

“On behalf of our football program, I would like to express our appreciation for the support of FBC Mortgage,” says UCF football coach Gus Malzahn whose first Knight team in 2021 finished 7-0 at home.

 

“This provides a legitimate boost to us when it comes to creating a great homefield advantage. We take tremendous pride in the environment at our home football games–and this only adds more luster to that.”

 

The crown jewel in UCF’s impressive athletics complex, the Knights’ football venue–first known as Bright House Networks Stadium–opened in 2007 and became Spectrum Stadium in 2017. The on-campus facility provides UCF one of the top venues anywhere in the Southeast. After spending the previous 28 seasons at the Florida Citrus Bowl (now known as Camping World Stadium) in downtown Orlando, the Knights made their debut in the new on-campus facility on Sept. 15, 2007, facing Texas. A capacity crowd was on hand for the game, which was televised live nationally on ESPN2. Two seasons later when UCF played host to Miami on Oct. 17, 2009, a facility-record 48,453 fans were on hand for the contest.

 

It has played host to conference championship games (Conference USA or American Athletic Conference) after the 2007, 2010, 2017 and 2018 regular seasons. Located on the north side of campus, the stadium features luxury boxes, a large club lounge and a natural grass playing surface.

 

UCF’s gameday football facility has added an impressive series of enhancements over the last seven years:

 

–2015: The stadium enjoyed its first major renovation with the addition of the Carl Black and Gold Cabana. This east-side premium area quickly became one of the signature UCF game-day experiences. The Cabana is a 10,000-square-foot, Florida-themed social area and lounge located between the 30-yard lines.

 

–2016: The video board was upgraded to a 114-by-36-foot LED display. It features a Daktronics 15MM HD pixel layout for excellent image clarity. The display also has variable content zoning, allowing it to show one large image or be divided into multiple windows to show any variety of live video, instant replays, statistics, scoring, graphics, animations and sponsorship messages.

 

–2017: The Carl Black and Gold Cabana was expanded via 2,921 additional chair-back seats and an open-air sun deck. Eight field-level cabanas also were added at the south end zone with access to the enclosed air-conditioned J and J Rosengren Lounge. The concourse between sections 108-113 was converted into the Stadium Club. That 3,344-seat premium area on the west side of the stadium provides access to dedicated food and drink options, as well as other amenities. In addition, a ribbon display in the south end zone was unveiled, with that display measuring more than seven feet high by 199 feet wide.

 

–2018: Field-level cabanas were added at the north end as well as south loge cabanas.

 

–2019: North loge cabanas debuted, and an additional 1,000 premium chair-back seats were added on the east side of the stadium, increasing the capacity of the Carl Black and Gold Cabana for a second time.

Continue Reading

College Football

UCF and Icon Source Collaborate to Bring NIL Marketplace Services to Campus

Published

on

UCF Football photo: UCF Today

ORLANDO, Fla. – UCF Athletics announced Tuesday a collaboration with Icon Source, the premier name, image, and likeness marketplace in the U.S., to bring its unparalleled NIL expertise and new local exchange marketplace to UCF Athletics and student-athletes from all sports.

A new product from Icon Source, Icon Suite, will power a UCF-branded local exchange that will be available to all UCF student-athletes. The innovative tool simplifies connecting interested brands with student-athletes for NIL deals and the administrative processes around deal disclosure and compliance for UCF Athletics.

Icon Suite makes it easier than ever for local companies and Knight supporters to readily identify and access student-athletes for potential endorsement and sponsorship deals through a custom UCF marketplace. Through UCF’s Icon Suite software, Icon Source can also service local businesses and alumni by providing guidance, education, and facilitation of the student-athlete sponsorship process.

“Our student-athletes will have the best opportunities to benefit from their name, image, and likeness thanks to this first-of-its-kind venture,” said UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir. “We’re setting the standard by bringing the marketplace to our student-athletes.”

As part of the collaboration, an Icon Source representative will be housed on UCF’s campus as an on-site resource for student-athletes. This is a new NIL service for UCF student-athletes, going along with the free legal and entrepreneurship services already provided to students on-campus.

Florida’s NIL law prohibits colleges and universities from compensating current and prospective student-athletes for NIL deals. UCF’s collaboration with Icon Source simplifies the process for student-athletes and corporate sponsors. These services are provided at cost to the athletes and with no compensation to the university.

“By bringing the marketplace to our campus, it gives our student-athletes the greatest advantage to prosper in this new era of NIL,” Mohajir said. “Icon Source is one of the leaders in this space and having them right here on our campus will give our student-athletes and associated brands optimal opportunities to benefit!”

Founded in 2018 by UCF alumnus and current chief executive officer Chase Garrett, Icon Source has been a trusted tool for professional athletes across all sports and their agents to connect with a broad group of brands and facilitate seamless endorsement deals and partnerships. In 2021, Icon Source expanded that work into the NCAA realm, working tirelessly to empower and protect student-athletes as they maximize their NIL potential.

Numerous national to hyper-local brands have directly connected with and endorsed student-athletes through Icon Source’s compliant marketplace and executed contracts using the marketplace’s wizard, which handles all the administrative aspects of name, image, and likeness dealmaking.

Continue Reading

Trending