Betty White Celebrates 89th Birthday, Has No Plans to Retire
By Amber James Posted Jan 20th 2011 12:30PM
Betty White proves that age really is just a number. The 'Hot in Cleveland' star celebrated her 89th birthday at Le Cirque in NYC Tuesday evening and couldn't be happier with the turnout. The iconic star, whose sitcom returned for its second season Wednesday, confirmed she has no plans to retire like Regis Philbin. "If my job wasn't fun, I would have retired years ago," White told PopEater.
Get the inside scoop and watch PopEater's exclusive red carpet video ... after the jump!
At the party, White caught up with new and old friends, munched on hors d'oeuvres and of course blew out the candles on her birthday cake. Although she wouldn't reveal her wish (it's bad luck), she's just thankful to have a job she loves and to be surrounded by supportive friends, family and co-stars. "I deeply appreciate everyone who came out tonight," she modestly told PopEater.
In honor of White's birthday, TVLand executives adopted an orphaned baby elephant in Africa and donated a "generous amount" to Morris Animal Foundation, one of White's favorite animal-rights charities. (They would not disclose the amount to PopEater.) White was overwhelmed by the gesture and told guests the donation would be "put to good use," and aid veterinary research that treats and cures animals on every continent and helps animals enjoy longer, healthier lives.
But the birthday surprises didn't stop there. Her 'Hot' co-stars, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick, joined White on stage and presented her with a video montage of birthday wishes from Taylor Swift, Kathy Griffin and Tina Fey (just to name a few.) The montage ended with a special surprise: Justin Bieber serenaded the star via video.
Her castmates gushed about White, adding she's still young at heart and spunky on set. "You look at her, and you don't think 89. She's nine. That's how she behaves," Bertinelli joked.
Other party guests included Sherri Shepherd, Hoda Kotb, Johnathan McClain, George Segal and Jack McBrayer.
White is best known for her television roles as Sue Ann Nivens on 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' and Rose Nylund on 'The Golden Girls.' She currently stars as Elka Ostrovsky in the TV Land sitcom 'Hot in Cleveland.'
The spunky star has had quite a busy year. She appeared in an advertisement for Snickers during the 2010 Super Bowl XLIV. Then, a grassroots campaign on Facebook called 'Betty White to Host SNL (Please)' landed her a spot on the sketch comedy show. The 'Saturday Night Live' appearance made her, at age 88, the oldest person to host the show. The appearance earned her a 2010 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, her seventh Emmy win overall.
According to White, she has a jam-packed 2011 ahead of herself. She plans to release two books while starring in 'Hot in Cleveland,' which returns for its second season on Jan. 19.
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