Reporting Regine Schlesinger
CHICAGO (CBS) — The legendary Betty White was on hand Wednesday morning to help cut the ribbon at the new home of Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications in River North.
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger got to speak with White, who turned 90 in January.
“I’m so lucky,” White said. “Boy am I lucky.”
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports
White’s career, of course, is the envy many performers much younger. After a resurgence in popularity when she appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for Snickers bars in 2010, a Facebook-based grassroots campaign led NBC to bring her on as guest host on “Saturday Night Live” in May 2010. She has co-starred for three seasons now on the TV Land sitcom “Hot in Cleveland,” and also hosts the reality comedy show, “Betty White’s off Their Rockers.”
“Everybody says, ‘So nice to see you back,’” White said. “I’ve never been away, guys. I’ve been working for 63 years.”
Betty White is remembered as a variety of different characters, depending on what generation you grew up. Most remember her as the naïve and chatty Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls,” but many others remember her as Sue Ann Nivens – a character with the opposite disposition – on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” or even “The Betty White Show” back in 1954.
Still, no one is more surprised at the career her path has taken.
“I’m in shock. I am the luckiest… I’ve always said I’m the luckiest old broad on two feet, because first of all, you don’t expect to still get a chance to work at this late date, so I’m blessed with good health, so my energy stays up,” she said. “I’m having a ball.”
Betty White is a native of Oak Park, but moved to California as a youngster.
As for the Museum of Broadcast Communications, until now, it had not had a permanent home since 2003, when it moved out of the Chicago Cultural Center at 78 E. Washington St.
Inside, almost 20,000 square feet of exhibits are on display, celebrating everything from WGN’s “Bozo the Clown” to the television shows of the past 60 years; the comedies and the variety shows. It is a kaleidoscope of history in both color and black and white.
Te old CBS camera used in the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debate at the old WBBM-TV studios, at 630 N. McClurg Ct.