Betty White Recalls Her Talk Show Beginnings

by Robert Pace 10:41 AM PDT, September 28, 2012
Playing Betty White Recalls Her Talk Show Beginnings

Betty White has become one of the most adored actresses in showbiz history, but it wasn't easy for Golden Girls star and Off Their Rockers host to make a name for herself in the industry, as she recalls on Marie Osmond's new talk show.

Originally beginning her television career at age 17 in 1939, White worked on radio shows, including her own show The Betty White Show, in the '40s but didn't enter the vanguard of entertainment until she began hosting the live variety show Hollywood on Television in 1952.

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"I started out doing a talk show--not for an hour a day...I worked five-and-half hours a day, six days a week," she reflects on Osmond's new show, entitled Marie. "Live, with no script. You just sat there a listened to me wheeze away."

Not only were the hours drastically different, but White improvised the entire show and would sing a few songs throughout the broadcast. While it may have been a grueling task to host 33 hours of television per week, White's four-year stint on the show helped launch her TV career.

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White joining Osmond as a guest on her new show is no rare occurrence, as she was a frequent guest star during the '70s on Donny & Marie, the variety show that Osmond hosted with her brother.

Marie premieres October 1 at 12 p.m. on the Hallmark Channel.