As NATAS begins credentialing both the Creative Arts Emmys and Emmy celebration’s set for June 20th and 22nd, we turn to 12 time nominated and 6 time Emmy winner, Betty White for a touch of nostalgia and to share some words of wisdom with the nominees.
“Oh such an honor just to be nominated. That’s the best thrill of all. As classic cliché’s go, that one has to be high on the list,” says Betty White. “I’m sorry to say I have uttered it on more than one occasion-And meant it. But it is also true, and after all, what is a cliché but the truth overused? I can only speak personally, but for me being nominated is almost the best. For one thing it is always a lovely surprise, and should it happen, you can enjoy being a contender up to the time the butterflies take over on Emmy night. Of course the operative word in all of the above is ‘almost’.” Trust me, Winning is even better. Admittedly, Emmy is a colossal ego trip for the actor or actress involved, but it is something else as well. It is a sweet antidote for the low times; the canceled series, the part you would die for and didn’t get, the performance that you didn’t quite nail.”
What can she recall about that first win? “It was in 1952 that I won my first Emmy (Daytime Emmys didn’t hold their own ceremony until 1974 for submissions from 1973), and I was too new to the game even to be very nervous. Actually, I went to the ceremony more or less as a spectator. True, I was nominated (for her first series, “Life With Elizabeth”), but Zsa Zsa Gabor was a shoo-in for her series “Bachelor ‘s Haven.” It was exciting for me just to hear my name read as a nominee. When they read it again as the winner, my brain went into slo-mo, like one of those dream sequences. It would be 22 years before I would hear the magic words again-this time by my good buddy, Ed Asner. And the following year I lucked out again. In 1983, I won Emmy No. 4 for a short-lived game show called ‘Just Men.” We were on for only 13 weeks, and up to that time hosting a game show had been strictly male territory. The Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony was held in New York, and I didn’t make the trip because, once again, my chances were somewhere between zero and zilch. Imagine my astonishment when they called me that night to say I had won. It was a gender-oriented choice, I’m sure, but I wasn’t about to argue.”
In 2013, Betty participated in the Daytime Emmy ceremony by paying a posthumous tribute to friend and colleague Bob Stewart. “Time has slipped by since that thrilling first Emmy win in 1952, and Emmy has grown up in the meantime. She’s a big girl now. Daytime’s 40 plus years in the television business is cause for celebration, and I want to wish all the future contenders the very best, and urge them to enjoy and taste every moment. Being nominated is as good as it gets … Almost.”
Betty White “Just Men” game show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iznPDUpSzXU
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