Property From The Life and Career of Betty White
JULIEN’S AUCTIONS IS PROUD TO PRESENT OUR “PROPERTY FROM THE LIFE AND CAREER OF BETTY WHITE” AUCTION TAKING PLACE FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23RD, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH AND SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25TH, 2022 AT JULIEN’S AUCTIONS IN BEVERLY HILLS AND LIVE ONLINE AT JULIEN’S LIVE.
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“Property From The Life and Career of Betty White” is an exclusive presentation and celebration of the legendary actress and cultural icon’s extraordinary life and eight decade spanning career taking place live in a three-day auction event.
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On offer is an exclusive collection of over 1,500 lots featuring the Hollywood icon’s awards, scripts, wardrobe and memorabilia from her iconic television shows and films, as well as furnishings, artwork, fine jewelry, household and personal items from her beloved homes in Brentwood and Carmel, California.
American actress, comedian, television pioneer, producer, animal advocate and author, Betty White was one of the most beloved entertainers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Born in Oak Park, Illinois on January 17, 1922, and moving with her parents to Los Angeles when she was a toddler, White’s career was launched not long after she graduated high school.
After voicing commercials and performing in a few radio shows, she was invited to co-host a new kind of entertainment program - Hollywood on Television with Al Jarvis
. She eventually took over the hosting duties in 1952. Following, she became the first woman to produce a sitcom, Life With Elizabeth
, in which she also starred. With her company Bandy Productions, she became one of the rare women with power in Hollywood during the early days of television.
In 1951, she was nominated for her first Emmy award as Best Actress, the first of her career total of 21 Emmy nominations. Throughout the decade, she broke more ground as a producer on her own show, daytime television’s The Betty White Show
, which featured Arthur Duncan, an African-American tap dancer, whom White refused to remove from her show despite threats from Southern stations to boycott the program due to his casting, and made history by featuring the first African-American variety television program regular.
She also appeared as Vickie Angel, a newlywed in the television comedy Date With the Angels
from 1957-58, and began a nineteen-year run as host and commentator of the Rose Parade broadcast. Later she would also narrate the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for ten years with Lorne Greene from 1963-72.
In the 1960s, her comedic gifts and celebrity stardom would earn her the title “the first lady of game shows” with her recurring guest appearances on What’s My Line?, To Tell the Truth
, and the daytime game show Password
, hosted by Allen Ludden (White’s future husband) and further popularity as a talk show favorite on late night television, sketches on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
, as well as on the big screen, in her role as a senator from Kansas in Otto Preminger’s 1962 Advise & Consent
In 1973, White guest appeared in the fourth season of the classic television series The Mary Tyler Moore Show
. Her portrayal as the man hungry careerist Sue Ann Nivens opposite her longtime friend Mary Tyler Moore turned into a regular character on the series which she would
play for the next four years and would go on to become one of White’s most iconic roles, winning her two consecutive Emmy awards for outstanding continuing performance by a supporting actress in a comedy series.
Throughout the 70s and 80s, White would continue her reign on television, starring in her own series, The Betty White Show
, playing the character actress Joyce Whitman, appearing in notable skits opposite her good friend Carol Burnett on The Carol Burnett Show
, making celebrity guest appearances on I’ve Got a Secret, Match Game, The $25,000 Pyramid
and winning a Daytime Emmy for outstanding game show host for Just Men!
In 1985, White’s popularity and superstardom soared to even greater heights in the other iconic role of her career: the naive and sweet widow Rose Nylund in The Golden Girls
. For her role in the classic comedy series about four senior single women living together in Miami, White was nominated consecutively in the lead comedy series actress category from 1986 through 1992 throughout the Emmy and Golden Globe award winning series’ seven-year run, and won the Emmy award for outstanding leading actress in a comedy series in 1986.
Co-starring Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, the show made history as all four stars received an Emmy award, making The Golden Girls
one of only four sitcoms in Emmy history to achieve this record and has been ranked as one of the Best Series of All Time on industry lists from TV Guide
to Writers Guild of America
. The critical acclaimed series became a pop culture phenomenon spawning fan merchandise such as custom Trivia Pursuit and Monopoly games, apparel and wine glasses as well as fans self-identifying themselves with the characters Blanche, Dorothy, Sophia, or Rose.
After the series run, The Golden Girls
spawned the 1992 spinoff series The Golden Palace
with White, McClanahan, and Getty reprising their roles. White also reprised her Golden Girl character in guest appearances on other NBC shows, Empty Nest
. The Golden Girls
continues to attract a new generation of fans today singing along to its famous theme song “Thank You for Being a Friend” with its heavy rotation on streaming services and channels.
Throughout the 90s, White appeared in many television series including Bob, Maybe This Time, Ally McBeal, That '70s Show, St. Elsewhere
, as well as TV movies and received Emmy nominations for her guest appearances on Suddenly Susan, The Practice
and Yes, Dear
. She won a Hall of Fame Emmy honor in 1995 and won another Emmy award in 1996 for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, appearing as herself on The John Larroquette Show
. She also played memorable film roles in 1999’s Lake Placid
and The Story of Us
, 2003’s Bringing Down the House
, 2010’s You Again
and in some of TV’s biggest shows, playing Catherine Piper in Boston Legal
from 2005–08 and Ann Douglas in The Bold and the Beautiful
In the following decade, White’s superstardom and career surged and gained even more momentum when she starred in the film The Proposal
with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds and in the TV series Hot in Cleveland
. Playing her other iconic role of Elka Ostrovsky, a caretaker of an apartment of three 40-something friends, Hot in Cleveland
ran for six seasons and earned White a supporting actress Emmy nomination in 2011 as well as three Screen Actors
Guild Award nominations in 2011, 2012 and 2013, winning the SAG award the first two times for outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series.
At the age of 88, White’s ubiquitous celebrity presence and persona on social media, film and television made her an even bigger pop culture icon, as she became the subject of a viral fan-based Facebook campaign to host Saturday Night Live
where her appearance on May 8, 2010 (as the oldest person to ever host SNL) garnered 12 million viewers and her fifth career Emmy award win that year. She also appeared in a Snickers Super Bowl commercial, guest appeared in My Name Is Earl, 30 Rock, Community, The Middle
, and received more Emmy nominations as the host of the reality show Off Their Rockers
A lifelong animal lover and advocate, White would often quip that she “had to do her show business to keep up with her animal business.” Her work to raise awareness and funds for animal wellness included involvement with both the LA Zoo and Morris Animal Foundation as a board member and trustee, along with participation in several other charities around the world. Her official fan club, Bets’ Pets, raised money for local animal shelters and rescue groups.
She was never happier than when show business and animal business combined, as happened with the 1971 Pet Set
which White created, produced and hosted. The series featured interviews with fellow celebrity animal advocates Doris Day, Bob Barker, Jimmy Stewart, and others, along with their personal pets. Beyond her love of animals, Betty had an appreciation and respect for the environment. A true highlight of her life occurred in 2010 when she was named an honorary forest ranger by the National Forest Service. She said, “Wilderness is getting harder and harder to find these days… [we’re] almost to the point of no return. In my heart I’ve been a forest ranger all my life, but now I’m official.”
She was the author of several books including her 2010 memoir Here We Go Again: My Life in Television
; the 2011 New York Times
bestseller If You Ask Me: (And Of Course You Won’t); Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo; Betty White in Person
and Together: A Shared Vision
and The Leading Lady: Dinah’s Story
, both co-written with Tom Sullivan, and more.
Some of the distinguished honors bestowed on White include:
- 21 Primetime Emmy nominations with a total of five Primetime Emmy Award wins and one Hall of Fame honor,
- a Daytime Emmy award and a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award honor,
- a Grammy Award,
- two Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Screen Actors Guild’s Life Achievement Award honor,
- a Britannia Awards Charlie Chaplin Award for Award for Excellence in Comedy,
- three American Comedy Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990),
- two Viewers for Quality Television Awards,
- inductions into the Television Hall of Fame in 1988 and 1995,
- a People’s Choice Award for TV Icon,
- a Guinness Book of World Record in 2013 for longest TV career for a female entertainer,
- a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and many more.
White's career was celebrated in the 2018 PBS documentary Betty White: First Lady of Television. Just a few days before her milestone centennial birthday celebration, White passed away on December 31, 2021 at the age of 99 years old in Los Angeles.
Highlights of Betty White’s collection pertaining to her legendary career in show business include:
- White’s original director chair from The Golden Girls set;
- The Golden Girls pilot first draft script, read by White when considering taking the part of Rose;
- The Golden Girls production used pilot script, signed by White;
- a production used script for part one of the finale of The Golden Girls, “One Flew Out of the Cuckoo’s Nest,” signed by guest star Leslie Nielsen accompanied by a script for part two signed by Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty;
- a plaque from Sunset Gower Studios/Stage 2, where The Golden Girls was shot, commemorating the end of the series;
- a large number of production used scripts for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, and Hot in Cleveland, some with annotations by White;
- an envelope from the 1976 Primetime Emmy Awards, announcing the nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and the winner, Betty White on The Mary Tyler Moore Show;
- an original framed The Mary Tyler Moore Show cast photograph featuring a plaque engraved “Betty,” with a handwritten note from Mary Tyler Moore and Grant Tinker, gifted to White at the end of the series;
- a goodbye plaque from the cast and crew of The Betty White Show;
- her many awards and nomination certificates such as her Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement award;
- her 1994 Television Academy Hall of Fame award;
- her 2015 People’s Choice Award for “Favorite Icon”;
- her Emmy Award nomination certificates for The Golden Girls, Saturday Night Live, and Hot in Cleveland;
- a circa 1950’s Tele-Views Award for Favorite Female Personality;
- an Academy of Television Arts and Sciences nomination certificate for “Best Daytime Program” for The Betty White Show;
- as well as original taping tickets for The Betty White Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and The Pet Set; The Golden Girls cast gifts to the crew, engraved with the cast names Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty;
- photographs, art, memorabilia, and awards related to White’s extensive advocacy for animals, and more.
Cherished items from White’s marriage to her beloved third husband Allen Lunden will be featured such as:
- White’s gold leaf design with brilliant diamond set wedding band and a gold leaf design wedding band, worn by Allen Ludden, engraved on the interior: "6-14-63 I really do," in reference to their wedding June 14, 1963 at the Las Vegas, Nevada Convention Center;
- a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels gold flower brooch with brilliant diamond and blue sapphire details, seen in photographs of White wearing on multiple occasions;
- and an orange needlepoint director's chair decorated with owls and reading "Allen" on the seat back made by White for her husband.
White’s fine jewelry and showstopping gowns worn to her many awards shows and publicity appearances will be offered such as:
- her black and gold embellished Mignon gown worn to the 41st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 17, 1989 accompanied by a photograph of White wearing the gown with Mickey and Minnie Mouse and a taupe lace and satin gown worn by White to the 42nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 16, 1990;
- an apricot gown with a fitted lace bodice with gold and silver lamè dots and chiffon skirt worn by White to the 27th annual Patsy Awards in 1977 and the 12th Annual People's Choice Awards in 1986;
- a silky lavender dress with artistic white dots worn by White in 1986 publicity images for The Golden Girls and seen on the DVD cover of Betty White: First Lady of Television;
- a Saks Fifth Avenue black velvet long evening coat worn by White in 1974 to the International Broadcasting Awards dinner tribute to Mary Tyler Moore;
- a vintage turquoise silk chiffon gown worn by White at curtain call for the "Critic's Choice" play in 1962 at the Lakewood theatre in Maine, where she starred with her future husband, Allen Ludden;
- 14 karat white gold necklace with a brilliant aquamarine sapphire gem pendant, worn by White to the 28th Primetime Emmy Awards held on May 17th, 1976 in Los Angeles where she accepted her second Emmy Award for "Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series" for The Mary Tyler Moore Show and worn on multiple episodes of the series, including Season 5, Episode 14 titled "A Girl Like Mary,";
- an engraved, 14 karat solid gold Adams watch owned and worn by White engraved: "T.C.W. 12-25-40," the initials of Tess White, Betty White’s mother, and seen in photographs of White wearing the watch in the early days of her career;
- a black soufflé gown embellished with jet-like pallettes worn by White to the Second Annual American Comedy Awards on May 17, 1988 at Hollywood Palladium;
- a Judith Lieber Labrador miniaudière and others.
White’s furnishings, home décor, artwork and items from her longtime Brentwood and Carmel homes will be highlighted including:
- an early 20th century Wm. Knabe mahogany baby grand piano and bench filled with sheet music;
- "Waiting For His Master,” a 19th century Sir Henry Edwin Landsmeer oil on panel, in a giltwood frame featuring a charming King Charles spaniel by a velvet covered ottoman;
- the sunny yellow-painted front door from White's longtime Brentwood residence, complete with vintage brass cat door knocker;
- a large and beautiful decorative needlepoint wall hanging of exotic birds and butterflies which includes a photograph of White sitting while working on this needlepoint;
- a handmade papier-mache figurine of Betty White and three of her dogs;
- a silver Tiffany & Co. square clock, gifted to Betty White for being the "KNX Newsradio Woman of the Year" in 1984; and more.
“Betty White was a beloved national treasure and a cross generational icon who made us laugh for eighty years with her illustrious work on film, radio and television classics such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show
and The Golden Girls
,” said Darren Julien, President/CEO of Julien’s Auctions. “We are honored to work with her Estate in this exclusive presentation of these precious artifacts and personal mementos from her storied life and career which will be offered for the first time at auction to the public, museum curators and her legions of fans worldwide.”
In addition, Julien’s Auctions and luxury cruise line Cunard will bring Betty White’s historic collection to the high seas in an exclusive auction exhibition aboard flagship Queen Mary 2 on a Transatlantic voyage departing out of New York on August 5th and arriving into Southampton, UK on August 12th.
“We are delighted to once again collaborate on a Transatlantic Crossing with our longtime partner, Julien’s Auctions, and privileged to bring our guests such a special enrichment opportunity,” said Jamie Paiko, vice president of Sales for Cunard North America. “Betty White epitomized warmth, grace and class, and we know our guests will be keen to learn more about the illustrious life of this beloved icon.”
During the seven-night Transatlantic Crossing, guests will enjoy:
- A daily, rotating exhibit of the Property from the Estate of Betty White Collection
- Q&A with Darren Julien, President/CEO of Julien’s Auctions and Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions
For more information about Cunard
, or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Consultant, call Cunard Line at 1-800-728-6273 or visit www.cunard.com
Special exhibitions in Europe, South America and the U.S. for the public to view highlighted items prior to the auction will be held at The Museo de la Moda in Santiago, Chile from May
12th-July 4th, The Museum of Style Icons in Newbridge, Ireland from August 1st-September 11th and Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills September 19th- September 22nd. A screening of the documentary Betty White: First Lady of Television
will also be held on Tuesday, September 20th at 6pm Pacific Time at Julien’s Auctions followed by a Q & A.
If you can't make it out to Beverly Hills to bid in person, you can still watch all the action as well as bid online at Julien's Live
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