LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Television legend and animal-rights advocate Betty White will be honored today as the 50th Assembly District's 2021 Woman of the Year.
Assemblymember Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, selected the 99-year-old White for the honor in conjunction with Women's History Month. She'll be honored in a virtual ceremony along with other women from across California also being recognized by their state senators and assemblymembers for their accomplishments and contributions to the state.
“Betty White is often called a national treasure. She is known not only for her prolific career in television, but also for trailblazing a path for women pursuing careers in television, and her staunch animal welfare advocacy,'' Bloom said Friday.
White is recognized as the first woman to produce a sitcom, and was one of the first women to hold positions both in front of and behind the camera. A dedicated supporter of animal health and wellness, White is a trustee of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association and serves as President Emeritus of Morris Animal Foundation, where she has been a trustee since 1971.
In 2006, she was honored by the city of Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Zoo as “Ambassador to the Animals'' for her lifelong work for animal welfare. She was proclaimed an honorary forest ranger by the U.S. Forest Service in 2010 and made an honorary zookeeper by the keepers of the L.A. Zoo, two occupations she considered as a child and before becoming an actress.
“I am surprised and honored to be recognized for Woman of the Year. It is good to be 99,'' White said.
“Betty White represents the best of Hollywood and the business of entertainment. A staple on the television screen, she has brought laughter into the homes of generations of families. She is adamant on using her considerable platform to bring awareness to improving the lives of animals, and always with kindness, warmth, and humor,'' Bloom added.
White has earned numerous awards during her entertainment career, which has spanned over 80 years. She's won five competitive Emmy awards, an AP Entertainer of the Year award, a People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Icon, the TV Land Legend Award, the Icon Award for Women in Television from the Paley Center for Media, and lifetime achievement awards from the Emmys, the Television Critics Association, the Screen Actors Guild, the American Women in Radio and Television and the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. She has also been added to the Guinness World Records under the title, “Longest TV Career for an Entertainer (Female).''
The Woman of the Year event was founded in 1987 by Assemblywomen Bev Hansen (R) and Sally Turner (D) in response to the California Legislature's lack of events for Women's History Month. The now-annual event, sponsored by the Women's Caucus, allows each state senator and assemblymember to select one woman from their district to be honored for their accomplishments.
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