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What is Betty White’s Legal Name?

by Halle Ames
(Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz/ Getty Images

What is America’s beloved grandmother, Betty White’s, legal name? The answer may surprise you. 

Betty White will probably go down in history as one of the most loved people in America. But really, what’s not to love? Just look at her!

Betty White was born in Oak Park, Illinois, on January 17, 1922, making the iconic beauty a young 99-years-old. 

She was the only child of her parents, Tess and Horace White, a lighting company executive for the Crouse-Hinds Electric Company. 

What is Betty short for? Elizabeth? Maybe Bethany? Nope, none of the above. 

Betty is short for nothing. Her name from birth was Betty White. 

Why? In Whites autobiography, she revealed that her mother, Tess, hated nicknames associated with Elizabeth like “Beth,” “Liza,” or “Ellie.” To make it easier on everyone and not risk her only daughter attaining some awful nickname, Tess named her baby girl Betty. 

Short and sweet, just like Betty White. 

According to IMDB, White is of Danish, Greek, English, and Welsh descent. It revealed that her dad’s father, Christopher Hans Christian White was from Denmark and her mom’s dad Nicholas Cachikis was from Greece. Both of her grandmothers were born in Canada but had English and Welsh ancestry.  

Before The Big Screen

Prior to her success in the entertainment industry, Betty White was a dedicated member of the American Women’s Voluntary Services during World War II. Here she volunteered her time to drive a supply truck and worked as a DJ at KLAC.

When Betty White celebrated her 90th year on this Earth, she commented on her age and how she feels a lot younger than she is. Betty, you don’t look a day over 70. You are an icon and a role model. 

“I can credit my folks for my genes. That said, 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 one’s life, 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?”

Betty White is For the Animals

Along with acting, Betty White is a huge animal activist, so when she isn’t on set, you might see her at the zoo. 

“I’m not into animal rights. I’m only into animal welfare and health. I’ve been with the Morris Animal Foundation since the ’70s. We’re a health organization. We fund campaign health studies for dogs, cats, lizards, and wildlife. I’ve worked with the LA Zoo for about the same length of time. I get my animal fixes!”

In addition, Betty White is a household name for her decades on the big screen. She has received 33 nominations for majors awards like the Grammys, Emmys, and Golden Globes. She has won nine of them.