7 facts about Betty White, who is celebrating her 98th birthday today

Betty White accepts the legend award at the TV Land Awards at the Saban Theatre on Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Gray News) Actress Betty White is celebrating her 98th birthday Friday, and her decades-long career in television and film is being celebrated by many to mark the occasion.

Here are some facts about Betty White you may not have known:

1. Betty White guest-starred on an episode of “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

In a 2016 episode of the popular Nickelodeon animated series, White played the role of “Beatrice,” a mall store owner that comforts one of her employees who was teased by her peers. White also voiced roles in other children’s animated shows including “The Wild Thornberries” and “Pound Puppies.”

2. While more known as a game show panelist, Betty White won an Emmy for hosting a game show.

Betty White is known for her frequent appearances as a panelist on classic game shows like “Match Game,” “Password” and "The $100,000 Pyramid,” but she also hosted the 1983 NBC Game Show “Just Men!” While the show lasted less than four months, her work won her a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host. Her husband, “Password” host Allen Ludden, received the same honor in 1976. The couple was married in 1963, and Ludden died in 1981 at the age of 63.

3. Betty White was born before Judy Garland.

Betty White was born six months before the Hollywood legend. Garland who became a movie star as a teenager in the 1930s with several roles including Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” White wouldn’t get her first leading television sitcom role until “Life with Elizabeth” in the early 1950s, although she has made television appearances dating back to 1939.

4. Betty White was the oldest of “The Golden Girls.”

The lone surviving member of “The Golden Girls,” White was also the oldest of the four. Bea Arthur was born a few months later in May 1922, while Estelle Getty was born in 1923 and Rue McClanahan was born in 1934.

5. Betty White is tied for 5th in most Emmy nominations for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series with seven.

White only trails Julia Louis-Dreyfus (12), Mary Tyler Moore (10), Bea Arthur (9), Lucille Ball (8) and Jean Stapleton (8).

6. The Soviet Union was formed the same year Betty White was born.

The Soviet Union, officially known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was formed in 1922, months after Betty White was born. The Soviet Union would fall in 1991 as “The Golden Girls” was in its final season.

7. Betty White turned down a role in “As Good As It Gets” because of a scene involving a dog.

White told Smithsonian Magazine she turned down the role in the award-winning 1997 film because the dog in the movie was put in a chute in an effort to get rid of the pet. The animal welfare advocate said she didn’t want people to think that was a solution.

Copyright 2020 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.