Ninety years ago today, Betty White was born kicking and screaming and ready to party — and nearly a century later, she's still causing a scene.
The actress, best known for playing Rose on the TV series "Golden Girls," was celebrated in grand style last night on NBC, which aired a 90-minute birthday bash featuring appearances by Amy Poehler, Joel McHale, Zachary Levi, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, and even a video congratulations from President Obama.
"I can't believe you're 90 years old," he said. "Will you please produce a copy of your long-form birth certificate?"
Other pre-taped messages were sent in from celebs like Ellen DeGeneres, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Morgan Freeman, Hugh Jackman, Jay Leno and Ray Romano.
Poehler, who kicked off the evening with a few jokes about White's age, had some particularly good zingers. "Betty, you're going to hear a lot of jokes tonight about your age. But take comfort in the fact that come tomorrow, you won't remember any of them," she joked, adding: "I call her a pioneer because 90 years ago she literally arrived to California on stage coach.”
As for White, she recently said
the most important thing about getting old is continuing to have fun.
“They’re all saying, ‘Oh, my goodness! You’re 90!’” she said. “And I keep trying to explain, ‘Don’t give me any credit. I didn’t do anything to get to be 90. It just happened. I didn’t accomplish anything. It just came up on me.’ But I’m blessed with good health, for which I’m deeply grateful. I’m just gonna have fun like, you know, always. Everybody else is far more excited about the 90 than I am. … I might go out and have a little vodka on the rocks.”
She added that turning 90 is simply another highlight in a life filled with wonderful memories and moments.
“I’m not only blessed with good health, but good energy,” she said. “I can credit my folks for the genes that put that together. But I can’t get over that at this age, I don’t feel this age. I’m not trying to be any younger. I’m not lying about my age. If I were lying about my age, I would say I was 89. I’m just at one of those good times in your life, and there’s been so many of those through those 90 years, but I’m at one of the high spots. I’m healthy enough to enjoy it. I’m surrounded by friends I adore. Isn’t that kind of the best way to sign off?”
Check out the opening musical number of White's birthday celebration below: