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These Rare Photos of Young Betty White Prove the Golden Girl Was Always a Star

We miss you, Betty.


Betty White passed away at 99, just weeks before her 100th birthday. She was a Hollywood icon, celebrated for her beloved roles on The Golden Girls, The Carol Burnett Show, and countless others, but young Betty White was a star long before. The eight-time Emmy winner had appeared in more than 120 TV shows and movies over a career that has spanned more than seven decades. But things weren’t always easy for the legendary actress, especially early on.

Young Betty White: The Beginning of a Legacy

White first discovered her love of acting in high school. A resident of southern California, she began to visit movie studios in the hopes of landing a role. But in her early 20s, she was turned down again and again. Why? As she revealed to Parade magazine in 2018, the rejections had to do with her being “unphotogenic.” (We bet some of those casting directors seriously needed to get their eyes checked.)

In true Betty White fashion, though, she didn’t abandon her dream. “You just keep plugging away,” she told Parade. “You don’t give up.” Before long, she was living out her dream on screen in TV shows like Life With Elizabeth and Date With the Angels. Since then, her list of appearances and accolades has grown. It’s hard for anyone — even some die-hard fans of the star — to keep track of every single moment in which she’s stolen the show. 

That’s why we think it’s worthwhile to take a look back and remember how far she’s come as an actress and a legendary performer. It goes without saying that Hollywood would not be the same without her, though she didn’t just appear out of nowhere. She worked hard and long to get to where she is today — and her talent and ability to entertain has never ceased. As for the cherry on top, we think this quote of hers explains it best: “I may be a senior, but so what? I’m still hot.” Yes you are, Betty — and you always were!

Keep scrolling to see some of our favorite photos of young Betty White!

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