A look at Betty White’s best quotes

Betty White getty (SINGLE USE)
Photo credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images

Betty White can be described with only the most uplifting and positive words: bright, warm, sincere, snarky (in the best ways), hilarious, kind, compassionate — we could go on and on. Her characters, the roles she played, and her own presence on the radio or on set was something we were all so lucky to witness.

White brought a lot of herself to her characters, and we’ve said it before, but it deserves to be recognized — White considered herself a cockeyed optimist. She didn’t let the world get her down. Now, that’s not to say she didn’t suffer or work through grief and periods of mourning, but she accepted them for what they were and learned to live life differently after.

While life may have been different after struggles or loss, she never let it be without joy.

We could all learn a thing or two(hundred) by the way White lived her life, and lucky for us, we’ve got her wisdom still here today. We can look at a memoir or a book she’s written, the script of a character she played, or the quotes within interviews she gave and find happiness there. Furthermore, we can find a tool to help navigate a challenging situation or celebrate a beautiful one. We can laugh alongside her humor and still be sad at her absence but find gratitude for the words she shared with us.

Here are a few of our favorite quotes from the legendary Betty White herself. May they inspire you and bring you joy today.

Photo via NBCUniversal

Words of wisdom

“Everybody needs a passion. That’s what keeps life interesting. If you live without passion, you can go through life without leaving any footprints.” — If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)

“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.” Parade Magazine interview

“You don’t fall off the planet once you pass a given age. You don’t lose any of your sense of humor. You don’t lose any of your zest for life, or your lust for life.” — Today interview

“Friendship takes time and energy if it’s going to work. You can luck into something great, but it doesn’t last if you don’t give it proper appreciation.” If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)

“Get at least eight hours of beauty sleep, nine if you’re ugly.” — David Letterman, The Late Show

White’s next-level humor

“Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.” — If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)

“In my head, I’m the ultimate cougar. Animal lover that I am.” — Piers Morgan interview

“I am still to this day starstruck. I look out at this audience, and I see so many famous faces, but what really boggles my mind is that I actually know many of you. And I’ve worked with quite a few…maybe had a couple…and you know who you are.” SAG Life Achievement Award speech

On men and romance

 “Once you’ve had the best, who needs the rest. I made two mistakes before Allen, but the love of your life doesn’t come along in every life, so I am very grateful that I found him.” – Daily Mail interview

“I’ve always liked older men. They’re just more attractive to me. Of course, at my age, there aren’t many left!” — interview with Parade Magazine

“I not only knew Houdini, but we had a very lovely relationship … I really thought we had something going, and then the son of a gun disappeared.” — Craig Ferguson interview

“If you’re walking with your lady on the sidewalk, I still like to see a man walking street-side, to protect the lady from traffic. I grew up with that, and I hate to see something like that get lost. I still like to see that a man opens the door. I like those touches of chivalry that are fast disappearing. If I sound old-fashioned, it’s because I’m as old as I am! But it’s just polite.” — Q&A with the Chicago Tribune

White’s love for animals

“I just like animals more than I like people. It’s that simple.” — Entertainment Online

“Animals don’t lie. Animals don’t criticize. If animals have moody days, they handle them better than humans do.” — If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)

“I’ve worked with the Morris Animal Foundation for over 50 years, I’ve worked with the Los Angeles Zoo for over 50 years. The Morris Animal Foundation is an animal health organization, and we fund humane studies into specific health problems—dogs, cats, horses, and zoo and wildlife. And at one point, I said nobody was addressing pain in animals … I said, okay, I’ll start it. And so, bless their hearts, they sent out these brochures about anybody wanting to research that and study it. And now, there’s not a scientific study that Morris Animal Foundation funds—and they fund hundreds—that doesn’t have pain medication built into the research. And I think I’m happiest about that.” — 2012 interview with Momtastic

“When I pontificate, it sounds so, you know, Oh, well, she’s preaching. I’m not preaching, but I think maybe I learned it from my animal friends. Kindness and consideration of somebody besides yourself. I think that keeps you feeling young. I really do.” – Katie Couric interview

White’s appreciation for life

“I have no regrets at all. None. I consider myself to be the luckiest old broad on two feet.” – Guinness World Records interview

“I’m a big cockeyed optimist. I got it from my mom, and that never changed,” she says. “I always find the positive.” – People interview

“It’s your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don’t take yourself too seriously, pretty soon, you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver.” — Q&A with the Chicago Tribune

“However, if one is lucky enough to be blessed with good health, growing older shouldn’t be something to complain about. It’s not a surprise; we knew it was coming—make the most of it. So you may not be as fast on your feet, and the image in your mirror may be a little disappointing, but if you are still functioning and not in pain, gratitude should be the name of the game.” – If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)

“You don’t fall off the planet once you pass a given age…You don’t lose any of your sense of humor. You don’t lose any of your zest for life, or your lust for life, if you will.” – Today interview

Last but not least, White’s quote on how she hopes to be remembered from an interview with Parade is exactly how we’ll remember her.

“Warmly. I hope they remember something funny. I hope they remember a laugh.”

Here’s to a lifetime of laughter and joy; thank you, Betty White.