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Betty White’s Explanation of Never Having Kids of Her Own Inspired Sandra Bullock to Do the Same

Edduin Carvajal
Jan 17, 2022
05:20 A.M.
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Sandra Bullock found inspiration in "Golden Girls" actress Betty White and doesn't have biological kids. However, she is raising two adopted children.

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After two failed marriages, Betty White met her other half: "Password" host Allen Ludden. Even then, the actress was sure she didn't want children.

White was a role model, so it is not surprising that other successful actresses look up to her. Sandra Bullock is one of them, and White's explanation of never having biological kids inspired her.

Betty White on June 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California [left]. Sandra Bullock and Louis Bullock on January 20, 2011 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

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DISAPPOINTING MARRIAGES

Years before White won over people's hearts with her appearances in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," she worked with the American Women's Voluntary Services during World War II

Even in such circumstances, White found love in Dick Barker. The fighter pilot and chicken farmer proposed in November 1942 just before going overseas.

They were engaged throughout the war and would send letters back and forth. After Barker returned from deployment, he took White to his parents' home in Belle Center, Ohio.

Betty White on November 22, 2005 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

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White and Barker tied the knot in 1945, but she could never adjust to farmer life. She was used to living in California, so she divorced him later that year before returning to her parents' home. 

The actress's second husband was Lane Allen. They tied the knot in 1949 and started experiencing difficulties with their relationship right away. He wanted kids, and she didn't. Instead, White wanted a Hollywood career.

She considered splitting her time between her family and her dreams unfair to a child. Allen also wanted her to be a full-time homemaker, but she refused. They were already divorced by 1951.

Betty White and Allen Ludden on February 14, 1972 | Photo: Getty Images

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MEETING ALLEN LUDDEN

White's life changed in 1961 when she appeared as a celebrity panelist on "Password," the TV game show Allen Ludden hosted for almost 20 years.

Although they were attracted to each other, they couldn't date right away because Ludden's wife, Margaret, was battling cancer. She died that October, leaving behind three children that the TV host raised.

Bullock admitted she was not completely sure about adoption.

Betty White and Allen Ludden on February 14, 1972 | Photo: Getty Images

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In 1962, Ludden and White played husband and wife in "Critic's Choice," where they fell in love. Ludden eventually popped the question, but she turned him down.

The actress was unsure about leaving California and moving to New York with Ludden. He then gave her a gold wedding ring, but she didn't accept it. Ludden put it on a chain and wore it like a necklace so she could see it every time they got together.

One Easter, Ludden sent White a stuffed bunny with small flower earrings clipped to its ears. It also had a note asking her to please say yes. When Ludden called her later that night, she finally accepted his marriage proposal.

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Betty White on March 17, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Photo: Getty Images

After two years trying to convince her to marry him, Ludden and White tied the knot in June 1963 at the Sands Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. She once admitted she regretted wasting "a whole year" turning down all his earlier proposals. 

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Ludden and White were married for 18 years, and only death did them part: he sadly passed away in 1981 from stomach cancer. The actress pointed out that she has never considered remarrying because "once you've had the best, who needs the rest?" 

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REFUSING TO HAVE KIDS

In 2012, White shared more details about not having kids. She told Kate Couric she never regretted it because she was so compulsive that her kids would have become her only focus. White added

"But 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."

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It is not like the self-proclaimed workaholic never experienced motherhood, though. She was a stepmom to Ludden's three children, David, Martha, and Sarah. 

David got a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978 and is an author and history professor at New York University; Martha is a lawyer working with people with disabilities, and Sarah runs a karate school in Chicago.

Martha had the most challenging time adjusting to her famous stepmother out of Ludden's three children. It is unclear if White and Martha made amends later in life.

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INSPIRING SANDRA BULLOCK

White had a close relationship with Academy Award-winning actress Sandra Bullock, who found similarities between her and White's lives.

Bullock was surprised when she heard White never had biological children but married a father of three and felt blessed with her stepchildren. Bullock's ex-husband, Jesse James, already had three children when they married in 2005. The "Bird Box" star said

"When everyone is going, 'You should have a baby now,' I'm like, 'I could. Maybe I should. But do I need to?'"

Sandra Bullock in 1993 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images

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Unfortunately, Bullock and James's love story was not like White and Ludden's as they parted ways in 2010 after only five years together. During their marriage, they tried to adopt a kid.

Bullock admitted she was not completely sure about adoption, but she felt her child was in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. In 2010, after a four-year-long adoption process, she could finally adopt Louis. 

Sandra Bullock on November 27, 2018 in Berlin, Germany | Photo: Getty Images

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Louis heard Bullock and a few friends talking about their daughters three years later, and he joked he didn't have one but would have a baby soon. In 2015, Bullock adopted Laila, born when Louis manifested his "baby."

The actress has not been raising her children alone, though. She has got the help of her longtime boyfriend Bryan Randall, who assumed the role of stepdad when he and Bullock started dating in 2015.

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Bullock described Louis as a "supersensitive," wise, and kind child who once gave her helpful career advice: don't accept an "unfortunate" movie role. In Laila's case, she is the family superhero and wants to be a nurse.

Sadly, White passed away on December 31, 2021, only weeks ahead of her 100th birthday. Before her death, she invited her fans to celebrate her 100th birthday by watching her documentary "Betty White: 100 Years Young." What an incredible career!

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