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Here We Go Again

My Life In Television

About The Book

A memoir of Betty White's first five decades on television—as irreverent and irresistible as the beloved actress herself—filled “with inspiring cheerfulness” (The New York Times).

Betty White first appeared on television in 1949 and went on to have one of the most amazing careers in TV history, starring in shows such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, among many others. She was one of the hardest-working actresses of any era, and her sense of humor and perennial optimism carried her through decades of industry changes and delighted millions of fans.

Here We Go Again is a behind-the-scenes look at Betty’s career from her start on radio to her first show, Hollywood on Television, to several iterations of The Betty White Show and much, much more. Packed with wonderful anecdotes about famous personalities and friendships, stories of Betty’s off-screen life, and the comedienne’s trademark humor, this deliciously entertaining book will give readers an entrée into Betty’s fascinating life, confirming yet again why this funny lady was one of the most memorable and beloved actresses of all time.

Excerpt

Here We Go Again 1
Once I was a legitimate, card-carrying AFRA member, I worked The Great Gildersleeve several times, sometimes with a line or two, sometimes just to furnish “crowd noise.” There is a happy tag to this tale: Years later, when we were doing my second series, Date with the Angels, we had occasion to hire two additional writers—one Bill Kelsay, and the other none other than my benefactor, Fran Van Hartesveldt. He was a dear, silly, talented man, and whenever he’d hear me telling anyone how much I owed him, he’d say, “The moral of the story, boys and girls, is never walk—always take the elevator!”

By my next radio commercial, I had graduated from just one word—this time I got to sing. It was for American Airlines, and the song was lilting, to say the least:

Why not fly to Meheeco Ceety
You weel like the treep, ee’s so preety.

• • •

Perfect casting. Today, that would elicit a protest demonstration on ethnic grounds. Deservedly so.

• • •

Lane and I were still seeing each other, although we had reached something of an impasse on the marriage subject, and I was becoming increasingly aware that the situation couldn’t go on as it was indefinitely. Around this time, an opportunity came along out of the blue for a part in a movie being made for Ansco Film. Primarily, it was designed to demonstrate their new color film process, and would entail six weeks on location in the High Sierras. Timing is everything. Seizing the chance to run for the hills, in every sense of the word, painfully I told Lane it was over between us, and took the job. I knew that if I didn’t have a reason to get out of town, I would never be able to make it stick.

The ensuing six weeks was a mixed bag. It was certainly another learning experience, but then so is a trip to Devil’s Island. There were several good things, not the least of which was simply being in that glorious high country. When my mother and dad and I used to pack in and camp at about ten thousand feet, we wouldn’t see another soul until, after two weeks of fishing, we rode out again. Trust me, that’s the way to do it—not with a movie company in tow.

Another plus was the fact that the leading lady, a beautiful girl named Sally Feeney, proved to be a delightful friend, even under very difficult circumstances.

The plot of this opus, entitled The Daring Miss Jones, involved a gorgeous young thing (Sally) becoming lost in the woods. She joins up with two orphaned bear cubs, also lost. In the course of their adventures, the three of them get into all sorts of jeopardy, or whatever would serve to show off the new Ansco color film to best advantage. If I remember correctly, it showed off some of Sally, too: early on her dress had somehow caught on a branch, and she spent most of the trek in her surprisingly discreet undies. Meanwhile, her best friend (me) is fretting back home until she can stand the anxiety no longer, and eventually flies a plane (!) in to the rescue. Of course, there was also a villain in pursuit as well as the obligatory handsome hero to ensure a happy ending, the later played by Ted Jordan, who went on to marry exotic dancer Lili St. Cyr. How do you like them apples?

After we got on location, Allan Dwan, the producer/director/cameraman, asked me if, since there were a lot of scenes I wasn’t in, I would mind acting as script girl, keeping track of shots, footage, continuity, etc.—as a favor, that is? Sure—what the heck, I’d rather be busy than waiting around; besides, it would keep me close to the two tiny, adorable bear cubs, with whom I got along famously. It was fortunate that I did, because after a very few days it became abundantly clear that the hired “trainer” was far more dedicated to his bottle than to his bear cubs. Once again, Allan Dwan asked me if, since I seemed to get along so well with the cubs, I would mind handling them on the set—as a favor, that is? Sure—what the heck, bear wrangler, script girl, sometime actress, I’d rather be busy than etc., etc. Hey, this was show business!



The Daring Miss Jones. Betty as best friend to Sally Forrest.

Now, at that tender age bear cubs grow like weeds, and as the weeks went by they nearly doubled in size; to the extent that the script girl had trouble rationalizing the different-sized bears in what were supposed to be matching shots, while the bear wrangler was having more and more of a challenge controlling her charges, and the supporting actress was having one hell of a time trying to cover her scratches with makeup.

We all lived through it, and ultimately The Daring Miss Jones was actually released to the public. Or perhaps it escaped. Years later I even managed to find a copy of it on tape for my collection. The lovely Sally Feeney changed her name and became the successful young star Sally Forrest. It never occurred to me until this minute to wonder if she got the idea for her new name from the woods we spent so much time in with the cubs. She could have become Sally Bear. No.

To say I was glad to get home is an understatement. Even with the various added jobs, I had still found lots of time to miss Lane terribly, so when I got back and found a package from him waiting for me, I couldn’t open it fast enough. It was a Carl Ravazza record of our song—“I Love You for Sentimental Reasons.” To an incurable romantic, home at last from a difficult adventure and still very much in love, that was all it took.

Two months later, we were married.



The Daring Miss Jones. Betty as bear wrangler.

About The Author

Betty White was a beloved American actress and comedian, and spent over seven decades in show business. She starred in many successful series, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, and Hot in Cleveland. She also made numerous guest appearances on game and talk shows, and narrated the Tournament of Roses Parade for twenty years and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for ten. White received eight Emmy awards and in 2010 she was presented with the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award. She is also the recipient of three American Comedy Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990), and two Viewers for Quality Television Awards. She was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1995 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She died in Los Angeles on December 31, 2021 at the age of ninety-nine.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner (October 12, 2010)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451613698

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Raves and Reviews

“A chatty, readable account…with inspiring cheerfulness.” —The New York Times

" [An] entertaining and insightful autobiography. White’s love of friends, family, work, and animals comes shining through these pages, as does her high-energy pleasant personality.”
–Library Journal

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