Betty White’s ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ Co-Star Reflects on Playing Game Shows Together

by Jacklyn Krol

Betty White will never be forgotten by her legion of fans and loved ones. This includes her Mary Tyler Moore Show co-star, Joyce Bulifant.

You’ll recall that White passed away on New Year’s Eve, just seventeen days before her 100th birthday. Her cause of death was complications from a stroke that she had earlier in the week.

In an interview with Fox News, Bulifant described their time together while playing game shows. The two originally met on the set of their sitcom where White portrayed Sue Ann Nivens and Bulifant played Marie Slaughter.

“We were together on set, but also on game shows too,” Bulifant explained. “We appeared on ‘Match Game,’ and I sat in the same seat that she did to keep it warm for her until she came back. I just remember her being so warm, joyful and welcoming to me. She was always so kind, not just to me, but to everyone she met.”

The best part? White encouraged her to be raunchy and to let loose.

“One thing I loved about her is that she gave me permission to tell naughty jokes,” Bulifant added. “She said that whenever I told her naughty jokes, it sounded like a nursery rhyme. So that gave me permission.”

She also played on a game show hosted by White’s late husband, Allen Ludden. Bulifant thought that he was wonderful and kind.

“I did ‘Password’ a lot, which I happened to be very good at,” she added. “I’m dyslexic, so I thought it was the perfect game show for me. He was so fun and made everyone feel right at home. I even won the celebrity match one time, and boy, I felt like Miss America when I beat all of those stars!”

She shared that the couple were supportive of each other’s careers. Bulifant also noted just how much she loved him.

“She talked about him all the time,” Bulifant shared. “What they had was special, and she always remembered that. I wish I knew what their secret was. I would be a genius. But you know, I was also lucky to be married to the love of my life. And I think she felt the same way. She was lucky and she knew it. Because not everyone has that.”

A Wholesome Betty White Story

Bulifant shared that Betty White would do anything to help others. At one point, she asked White to join an organization to support abused children that Bulifant was already supporting. Without a hesitation she joined it.

“I always remember how generous she was in giving emotionally to others,” said Bulifant. “I also remember when I was no longer part of the organization. She was being honored one day. I was in the back of the room.”

White then made a sweet gesture to her friend who introduced her to the foundation.

“She was just so sweet. But then she said, ‘You know who brought me into this organization? Joyce Bulifant. And there she is in the back of the room! Everybody, let’s give her a hand.’ I was just stunned,” she recalled. “It was just so kind of her to thank me at that moment.”