Betty White is 88. She got into the business at the age of 17 and has never stopped working. In an industry that does not look fondly on women as they grow gray, she has managed to keep herself gainfully employed. Her most recent big screen role was in The Proposal with Sandra Bullock. According to IMDB there is a TV series in pre-production and another movie scheduled for a Fall release. Did I mention she was 88?
I watched her as she was honored for Lifetime Achievement at the SAG awards this weekend. It was clear what propels her and what has continued to keep her interested in what she has done for the last 71 years. You could see it in her face before she articulated it. Passion. She found work that she was passionate about, work that never ceased to surprise and inspire her. Her desire to continue to find people who would give her the venue in which to work her craft has been stronger than the industry who prefers youth.
Watching Betty White inspired me. She reminded me that when you are truly passionate about your work you never stop wanting to do it. There is a line in one of my very favorite movies, Dangerous Beauty that came to mind. “It’s the wanting that keeps us alive.” In Betty’s case it’s kept her young and kept her working.