Betty White is remembered for a lot of things today. For almost reaching 100, for having a ready smile, and for making people laugh with nothing more than just a look.
But she was also a mom, a ‘great stepmom’ to her three step-children, and was fine with never having any biological kids of her own. Here’s a glimpse into Betty White as a wife and as a mother.
Third Time Lucky In Love
Betty White married three times. Her first marriage was a wartime romance with Dick Barker that did not survive peace, and ended the same year it started, in 1945. In 1947, White married talent agent Lane Allen who wanted her to give-up showbiz for the kitchen but got dumped instead, in 1949.
Finally, Betty White struck gold and married game show host Allen Ludden in 1963. The marriage last till 1981 when Ludden died of stomach cancer. Post that White did not remarry, and while she had no biological children, she helped Ludden raise his three children.
This was less of marriage, and as Betty White put it, more of a “love affair” and she felt lucky to have experienced this kind of love in her life.
Betty White’s Three Step-Children Are Not In The Spotlight
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Ludden’s first wife, Margaret McGloin died in 1961, from cancer, leaving behind three children. Betty White became their stepmom and relished the role.
The eldest of three, David Ludden was born in 1948 and became a scholar. He was a history professor at UPenn and later moved to NYU. He has also written several books and while he’s not in the spotlight as such, he’s famous in his own right.
Allen’s second child, daughter Martha had some issues with him marrying Betty, but over time, these have resolved and she too is a retired lawyer now. The youngest of the three, Sarah shared a great relationship with her stepmom. She later went on to have her own karate school, and White shared a warm relationship with all three till the end.
Betty White Had No Regrets
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White never had any regrets about not having biological children, because she felt balancing motherhood and her career would have been tough. She told CBS once, “No, I’ve never regretted it. I’m so compulsive about stuff, I know if I had ever gotten pregnant, of course, that would have been my whole focus. 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.”
But she loved the role of a stepmom. When she worked with Sandra Bullock in “The Proposal”, also starring Ryan Reynolds, White told Bullock and she recalled, “Betty said, ‘You know what? I never had children biologically. I married someone who had three children. And how blessed I was to have those three stepchildren.'”
Bullock also said that Betty’s thoughts led her to adopt. Clearly, White has been touching lives, even without trying.