05.28.10

Honoring Betty White

CONGRESSMAN ADAM B. SCHIFF
OF CALIFORNIA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Betty White, who is receiving the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's (GLAZA) Beastly Ball Award.

Betty began her impressive performing career in the 1940s on the radio. Her first big break was in 1949 when she joined Al Jarvis on a daily, live, local television show, which she eventually hosted. In partnership with writer George Tibbles and producer Don Fedderson, she formed her own production company and produced her first comedy series, Life with Elizabeth, receiving an Emmy in 1952. Appearing frequently on major variety and game shows, she was a recurring regular with Jack Paar, Merv Griffin, and Johnny Carson, and a regular on Mama's Family.

Ms. White's first appearance on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the show's fourth season led to her becoming a recurring cast member, and her portrayal of Sue Ann Nivens, the Happy Homemaker, brought two Emmys for supporting actress in 1974-75 and 1975-76. She received her fourth Emmy for Best Daytime Game Show Host for Just Men. Nominated seven times for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for The Golden Girls, she won the Emmy in 1985, and won a sixth Emmy for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 1996 on The John Larroquette Show. Since 2000, Betty has appeared in Ally McBeal, That 70s Show, Boston Legal and The Bold and the Beautiful. In May 2010, Betty hosted Saturday Night Live, resulting in the long-running show receiving its highest ratings ever. In June of this year, she will appear in a new weekly TV Land Series, Hot in Cleveland. Betty's movies for television credits include Chance of a Lifetime, Stealing Christmas, Annie's Point, and Animal Planet's The Retrievers. Her big screen endeavors include Hard Rain, Dennis the Menace Strikes Again, Bringing Down the House, The Proposal, and You Again, which will be released in September 2010.

Along with the Emmys, Betty has won numerous awards during her seventy-year career. They include the Pacific Pioneers in Broadcasting's ``Golden Ike'' Award, the Genii Award from American Women in Radio and TV, the American Comedy Awards' Funniest Female Award as well as their Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, she was honored with the Career Achievement Award from the Television Critics Association, the Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild and the Lifetime Achievement Award in Acting from the American Women in Radio and Television. In 1995, Betty was inducted into the Television Academy's Hall of Fame.

Betty's work on behalf of animals is close to her heart and legendary. She is President Emeritus of the Morris Animal Foundation, serving as a Trustee since 1972, a member on the Board of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association since 1974 and an eight-year Los Angeles Zoo Commissioner. Among the awards she has received for her work for animal welfare include the American Veterinary Medical Association's Humane Award, the Jane Goodall Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, and an honorary doctorate from Western University Veterinary School as ``Doctor of Humane Veterinary Sciences.'' In 2006, Betty was honored by the City of Los Angeles with the title of “Ambassador to the Animals.”

The time, energy and devotion Betty has given to GLAZA is extraordinary, and the residents of the greater Los Angeles area have benefited enormously from her generosity. I ask all Members of Congress to join me in commending Betty White upon receiving the 2010 Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's Beastly Ball Award.