At age 96, Betty White has zero plans to retire.
The Hollywood icon is the subject of a new PBS documentary, titled “Betty White: First Lady of Television,” which details her rise to stardom as a beloved actress and comedienne.
Steven J. Boettcher, who co-directed the film, revealed that after nearly 80 years in showbiz, White still loves working.
“She told me, ‘I’m going to be in the saddle forever,’” Boettcher recently told Closer Weekly. “She loves working; she loves the challenge. She’s someone that we’re all better off for that she’s lived this long.”
While the film is set to premiere on August 21, White and her closest friends had the chance to see it back in January during her birthday celebration.
“It was at her party with 400 of her closest friends,” said Boettcher. “When it was over, she asked, ‘Does it have too much Betty White?’ It was so cute!”
White, who has been acting since her early 20s, was eager to let viewers know that she takes nothing for granted.
“I got an award for everything: inhaling, exhaling,” she joked. “I’ve been so spoiled rotten. I’m the luckiest old broad on two feet. Truly! I’ve always been working at something.”
Boettcher said it took 10 years to complete the upcoming movie, giving him a personal and extensive look at White’s life and career.
“We spent a great deal of time with her [on this project’ and she never said a bad word about anyone,” he explained. “Through her career, every cast and crew member loved working with her. She’d remember every one of those names, their kids and most importantly, the names of their pets!”
Back in January while celebrating her birthday, White told Parade Magazine she always had dreams of becoming a star and she visited numerous Hollywood studios during her 20s in hopes of making her mark. However, she was frequently turned down for being “unphotogenic.”
That didn’t stop White.
“You just keep plugging away,” she said at the time. “You don’t give up.”
Her persistence has paid off. She got her big break in the TV series “Life with Elizabeth,” which aired from 1952 until 1955. She was also a regular guest on the hit game show “Password” from 1961 until 1975, where she met the love of her life, host Allen Ludden. They were married from 1963 until his death in 1981 at age 63 from cancer.
“Not long enough,” she said about her relationship with Ludden.
White never remarried and instead, remained a proud stepmother to Ludden’s three children from his first marriage.
And she has stayed busy. In addition to acting, White has served for more than four decades as a trustee and on the board of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association.
According to the six-time Emmy winner and last living star from the hit ‘80s sitcom “The Golden Girls,” the secret to success is enjoying life.
“Accentuate the positive, not the negative,” she explained. “It sounds so trite, but a lot of people will pick out something to complain about, rather than say, ‘Hey, that was great!’ It’s not hard to find great stuff if you look.”
White said she also loves vodka and hot dogs “probably in that order.”
She also insisted there is nothing about her career she would want to repeat.
“I don’t have time to miss much,” said White. “Because I’m still working. I just love to work, so I’ll keep working until they stop asking.”