September 01, 2019

Betty White on Why She Never Had Children

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Betty White was married three times, but she never chose to have any children.

In an interview on CBS News, the iconic actress said she had no regrets not having a child.

“No, I’ve never regretted it. I didn’t choose to have children because I’m focused on my career. And I just don’t think, as compulsive as I am, that I could manage both,” she said.

Betty White at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 12, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images



The actress is known as having the longest television career of any entertainer, spanning 80 years. She started her television career in 1939 three months after high school graduation.

In her 80-year career, White has received eight Emmy Awards, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy Award.

Betty White at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images


White has also been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been inducted into the Television Hall of Shame. In 2009, she also received a Disney Legend Award.

"I wasted a whole year we could have had together."



White once said she regrets not marrying her late husband, celebrity game-show host Allen Ludden, sooner.

“I spent a whole year, wasted a whole year that Allen and I could have had together, saying, ‘No, I wouldn’t marry him. No, I won’t. No, I won't leave California. No, I won't move to New York,'" she said in an interview with Oprah. "I wasted a whole year we could have had together."

Allen Ludden and Betty White, circa 1960s | Photo: Wikimedia Commons


White and Ludden married in 1963. They shared a wonderful married life until his death in 1981 due to stomach cancer. White first met Ludden during her stint on the celebrity game-show “Password”.

She had hesitations about marrying Ludden at first, having been through two failed marriages. Her first marriage was to Dick Barker, a U.S. Army Air Corps pilot. They married in 1945. After divorcing Barker, White married Lane Allen, a Hollywood agent. But their marriage ended with a divorce two years later.

He rejected his marriage proposal twice. It took a year before she said yes. They tied the knot on June 14, 1963.

They had no children together, but she became stepmother to his three children from his first marriage.