Betty White’s top tips for living a long and healthy life

White turned 99 on Sunday. The beloved actress’ career spans more than seven decades with roles on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Golden Girls” and more.

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Actress Betty White visits “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” at Rockefeller Center on June 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images) R:\Merlin\Getty_Photos\116078502.jpg

Actress Betty White visits “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” at Rockefeller Center in 2011.

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Betty White turned 99 on Sunday, and the landmark birthday has fans wondering — what’s her secret to a long, healthy life?

White has been a beloved actress in Hollywood for more than seven decades with roles on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Golden Girls” and more. Like a fine wine, she seems to only get better with age, and she’s become a national treasure for her wit and longstanding career.

In an interview with People last Wednesday, she said good genes have played a role in her longevity.

“I am blessed with good health,” she said, “so turning 99 is no different than turning 98.”

She’s revealed she was spending the milestone birthday in quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic, but is looking forward to “visiting with close friends and bringing food to my animal friend” once life returns to normal. 

In celebration of her near-centennial birthday, we rounded up the beloved actress and comedian’s tips for living a long and healthy life. 


White, who has starred in comedies throughout her career, told People ”a sense of humor” keeps her going. “Don’t take yourself too seriously. You can lie to others — not that I would — but you cannot lie to yourself,” she added.

Stay positive

In 2018, she told Parade that the key is to “accentuate the positive, not the negative. It sounds so trite, but a lot of people will pick out something to complain about, rather than say, ‘Hey, that was great!’ It’s not hard to find great stuff if you look.”

Avoid complaining

“I know it sounds corny, but I try to see the funny side and the upside, not the downside. I get bored with people who complain about this or that. It’s such a waste of time,” she told Parade in the same interview.

Vodka and hot dogs?

She also told Parade that she loves vodka and hot dogs “probably in that order.” 

Keep busy

“First of all, keep busy,” she told Katie Couric in a 2017 interview. “Don’t focus everything on you, that wears out pretty fast. It’s not hard to find things you’re interested in, but enjoy them and indulge them, and I think that can keep you on your toes.”

Her role as Rose Nylund in “The Golden Girls,” earned her four Golden Globe nominations. 

“You just keep plugging away... You don’t give up,” she told Parade. 

Her long list of projects certainly proves how much she loves the work she does, with more than 120 acting credits to her name.

“I just love to work, so I’ll keep working until they stop asking,” she told Parade. 

Exercise your mind

White said she challenges herself with mind games and puzzles to stay sharp. 

“Crossword puzzles!” she told Couric. “I’m addicted. An admitted addict. I just can’t put ‘em down.”


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