With a show business career spanning 63 years and counting, is there anything Betty White still wants to do?
"My answer to every question is Robert Redford,” White told CNN, “but I've never met him and I don't want to meet him. I've taken his name in vain so many times I'd be embarrassed if I met him.”
White spoke to CNN while promoting Tuesday's release of “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” on DVD/Blu-ray and Digital Download.
She said she was drawn to “The Lorax” because of "the environmental aspect” of the story. In the big screen adaptation of the 1971 children’s classic – which Dr. Seuss himself named as his favorite work – young Ted (Zac Efron) sets out to find a real Truffula Tree for a girl he likes. White plays Ted’s Grammy Norma, and “The Lorax” also features the voices of Danny DeVito and Taylor Swift.
“I think it's a beautiful story,” White continued. “The whole production is beautiful so I was delighted to be brought into it.”
Is White anything like Grammy Norma in real life?
"Well probably,” she said, “but I don't realize it. I think of myself more like, you know, the glamour girl. A gorgeous, gorgeous person and somehow I don't think that equates with how other people see me."
The seven-time Emmy-winner recently received her 21st nomination for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality Competition Program thanks to her work on “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers,” the NBC series she stars in and executive produces.
White said she doesn’t worry about winning because "the nominations are the excitement. When that call comes in the morning, that's pretty great… to be included in that group is a big honor… I won't win but I'll be up there in the group and that's a lovely group."
White is gearing up for a fourth season of “Hot in Cleveland.” The TV Land sitcom, which is also Emmy-nominated - for makeup and editing - co-stars Valerie Bertinelli, Wendy Malick, Jane Leeves and White.
"I must say,” White noted, “to luck in to another comedy like that after ‘The Golden Girls’ and ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ - to get, again, a group like this… we all love each other so! We miss each other when we don't see each other so we're all dying to get back to work."
White turned 90 this year, and the television special honoring the occasion, “Betty White’s 90th Birthday: A Tribute to America’s Golden Girl,” received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Variety Special and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special.
One of the highlights of the birthday event was President Obama's video message asking to see White's long-form birth certificate.
White got to meet President Obama in person during a White House visit back in June.
"It was marvelous,” she said. “First of all, they took me on an in-depth tour of the White House before I went into his office, and we can be so proud of it. It is so gorgeous and they have this wonderful lady... she knows the history of just about every little trinket. It's just fascinating.”
For White, a longtime animal rights activist, the highlight of her visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was meeting the First Dog.
“Of course I was dying to meet Bo,” she said. “I walked into this room, and here is - I didn't know he was there - here he is coming over to greet me like an old friend; and he jumps up on the couch. So I sat down on the couch and he stretched across my lap and I spent a half-hour with the First Dog stretched across my lap. I should be talking about meeting the president, not meeting Bo, but I happen to have a bias in that department. And then I met President Obama and he was just wonderful. He couldn't have been nicer or more down-to-earth. It was really a lovely experience."
White recalled waiting outside the Oval Office for President Obama.
"I was with my secretary and my agent,” said White. “We were all out in a waiting room and then they called me in to another inner room; so I sat in there for about five minutes and then I was called into yet another room as the president came out of the Oval Office and he said 'You - you get a kiss.' And he came over and kissed me and took me into the Oval Office where we had our picture taken. He is just a real charmer. I was very impressed. He made me feel so comfortable and not awkward or anything like that and I tend to feel awkward," she added with a laugh.
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