Betty White flirted with Ryan Reynolds. She pined over Robert Redford for decades despite never meeting the man. But her true love was Allen Ludden.
Ludden, who hosted many incarnations of Password, died of stomach cancer in 1981. He wrote several advice books for kids, and even released an album. But most everyone knows him as Betty White’s husband. After his death, she joked about public infatuations and men she found cute, but she only ever loved Ludden.
To commemorate that love Helen Stickler, a graphic artist as well as many other things, wanted to memorialize the couple’s love affair. White kept a photo of Ludden by her bedside table and every morning would kiss it to say hello. Over the ensuing 40 years, the photo became faded from sunlight. So, Stickler decided to revitalize three photos of Betty White and Allen Ludden that had seen better days. They were sun-bleached and, in some cases barely recognizable.
“40 years the photo faded, and I had the great honor of restoring it for her. If there is an afterlife, I hope she’s with her Allen #BettyWhiteRIP,” Sticker tweeted in the captions of one of her recreations.
Betty White responded with the kindness and grace we’re all accustomed from her in a handwritten letter.
“Dear Helen, she wrote. “Thank you for your good work on my beloved’s picture. It makes it a wonderful treasure and I appreciate it. …”
Stickler started this process earlier this year, revitalizing three photos for the Golden Girls star. Recoloring and finding the right color grade isn’t easy. It’s time-consuming. Sticker posted the final productions on Twitter shortly after Betty White’s death and her fans were in awe of the work.
Betty White’s Last Words Were Her Husband’s Name
Betty White has plenty of pretend boyfriends — and actual boyfriends — during her life but Allen Ludden is the man she loved. So much so that his name was her last words.
Actress Vicki Lawrence became friends with White while they worked on Mama’s Family in the 1990s. When a mutual friend text Lawrence about Better White’s passing she was shocked. But she wasn’t surprised at at all White’s last words. An assistant who was with White in those final moments said she murmured “Allen” just before passing.
“How sweet is that? I said, ‘That is so sweet. God, I hope that’s true. For all of us, I really hope it’s true, a lovely thought,’” Lawrence said later.
Betty White’s agent, Jeff Witjas, said White never feared death mostly because she would be reunited with her husband once again. That’s what meant the most to her. “She believed she would be with him,” Witjas said in a statement to People Magazine.