“Once you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?” This was Betty White’s iconic response when asked whether she would remarry after her third husband’s death. One may not be lucky to find and marry the love of one’s life in a lifetime. Thus, the comic actress counts herself lucky and is grateful she did found and married the love of her life, Allen Ludden after two failed marriages, ones she considered mistakes.
The love story of Betty and Allen is one for the ages; it is worth being dazed over. After two marriage proposals, she finally agreed to marry him and has described their union as “the best 18 years of her life.”
The legendary Betty White is the 4th Mayor of Hollywood, an honorary title conferred on her for her lengthy career in the movie industry, spanning 80 years. She is best known for her roles in iconic sitcoms and TV series such as The Tyler Moore Show and Golden Girls. Get to know more about her man and how they met.
Who is Allen Ludden – Betty White’s Husband?
Allen Ludden is the man who swept the gorgeous first lady of television, Betty White off her feet with love, respect, admiration, and patience after two failed marriages. He was a TV personality and game show host, popular for hosting the game show series, Password.
The man Allen was born Allen Packard Ellsworth on the 5th day of October 1917, in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. He was the son of Elmer Ellsworth, an ice dealer and his homemaker wife, Leila M. Allen. After his father died while he was still young, on January 6, 1919, his mother remarried a man named Homer Ludden, Jr. hence Allen’s last name. The older Ludden was an electrical engineer. The family eventually left Wisconsin after lived in several of its cities for Texas, when Allen was 9.
Allen graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors in English and dramatics from the University of Texas in 1940. The following year, he earned a Masters of Arts in English from the same institution before enlisting in the United States Army. While serving in the U.S. Army, he put his education to good use as officer in charge of entertainment in the Pacific theater, consequently launching his career. Prior to his discharge in 1946, Allen Ludden received a Bronze star, with the rank of captain.
Lunden worked as a youth coach who wrote in teen magazine columns and spoke on radio. He also hosted a radio show for teenagers known as Mind Your Manners before settling down to a career as a game show host. He hosted numerous game shows including Win with the Stars, GE College Bowl, Liar’s Club, Stumpers!, The Joker’s Wild and his talk-variety show, known as Allen Ludden’s Gallery. However, he earned wide acclaim for hosting the popular game show, Password from 1961 to 1975 on CBS and ABC. After the show was updated as Password Plus and started airing on NBC in 1979, Ludden continued his hosting gig until October 1980.
Besides hosting, Allen Ludden distinguished himself as an author and musician. He wrote and published four books for young readers including Roger Thomas, Actor (1959) and released an album entitled Allen Ludden Sings His Favorite Songs on RCA Records in 1964.
Betty White’s husband was a great host and was duly rewarded for his work both during his lifetime and posthumously. His awards include the Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host and a Horatio Alger Award in 1961. Following his death from stomach cancer on June 9, 1981, Allen Ludden was awarded his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
How Did The Two Lovebirds Meet?
The love story between Betty White and Allen Ludden is one that would make you want to fall in love. The TV personality duo found love in a game show, during Betty White’s first appearance of many on Password. Allen was the host and Betty, his guest. The Password host took interest in her and the duo began dating soon after.
While everything was fair and rosy in their love garden, Betty refused Allen’s proposal for marriage twice. While she loved Allen, she didn’t want to leave California and move to New York. That didn’t deter Allen in any way as he brought on his proposal a third time. Luck or rather cupid was on his side as she agreed on his third attempt. In 1963, the comic legend and celebrity game show host tied the nuptial knots. The duo remained married until death (Allen’s death) did them part in 1981.
Betty, now a nonagenarian (born on January 17, 1922), would admit later that Allen was the love of her life and that the years she was his missus were the best 18 years of her life. However, the screen diva has just one regret; she wasted a whole year that she could have had together with the love of her life refusing his initial proposals. But all that is now in the past as she was glad and grateful she said yes when she did.
Their Previous Relationships
The duo has experienced marriage prior to coming together. While Allen was married once before Betty, she was married two times prior to their union.
Allen’s first wife was Margaret McGloin. They were married from October 11, 1943 until cancer snuffed her life out on October 30, 1961. He married the legendary actress and television personality, Bettey White, two years later on June 14, 1963.
On Betty’s part, she was married to Dick Barker, a U.S. Army Air Corps pilot in 1945 and then Lane Allen, a Hollywood agent, in 1947. Both marriages ended in divorce, two years after each was contracted. The duo had no children together but Betty is stepmother to Allen’s three children from his first marriage.
On why she would not remarry after her third husband’s death, the comic actress replied in an interview on Larry King Live by saying, “Once you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?” Their love story is forever immortalized with side-by-side stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.