We all knew her as Rose on the Golden Girls or saucy Sue Ann on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She seemed immortal. But she wasn’t. Her heart stopped New Year’s Eve as she slept. She was 18 days shy of her 100th birthday.
So McCormick, who rose to TV icon status because of The Brady Bunch, penned a letter, via social media, in tribute to the late, great Betty White.
“Dearest Betty,” McCormick posted on Twitter. “We are all the luckiest to have had you in our lives. We will miss you dearly. May you rest in the most beautiful peace with your loved ones. Thank you for giving me so much joy my entire life. Even though we never met, you have always been a part of my family.”
McCormick played Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch from 1969-74. She was one of America’s favorite teenagers leading a picture-perfect life (except for that whole nose issue). Meanwhile, Betty White joined the cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in September, 1973. As Sue Ann Nivens, White played the over-sexed host of a show for homemakers. She tolerated Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore), but loved the married Lou Grant (Ed Asner).
Both The Brady Bunch and the Mary Tyler Moore Show were two of the best-known shows coming from the decade of the 1970s.
Asner died last summer. And, like White’s death, McCormick really felt his death. McCormick admitted that she loved The Mary Tyler Moore Show, adding that the entire cast inspired her. While she never had the good fortune of meeting White, she worked with Asner on Lou Grant, a Mary Tyler Moore spinoff. McCormick considered Asner a good friend, which is probably why she felt so connected to White.
“It’s because of Ed that I even wanted to get into this business,” the Brady Bunch star told the Hollywood Reporter. “Seeing him and everyone on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. When I was growing up, I would sit with my family and watch every episode of it. I never dreamed that I would be able to work with him or know him, but I just fell in love with him and his character.”
America fell in love with all the characters. Five people associated with the show died in 2021. They were White, Cloris Leachman, Gavin MacLeod, Asner and director Jay Sandrich.
White probably was identified far more with playing Rose Nylund on the Golden Girls. But she won two Emmys for playing Sue Ann Nivens. She also earned Emmys for the Golden Girls and for guest appearances on the John Larroquette Show and for hosting Saturday Night Live.
White hosted Saturday Night Live in 2010. And SNL is rerunning the show tonight as a tribute to White. We’re betting McCormick will watch it, too.