Betty White, best known for playing Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls, was loved by fans around the world. White was deeply touched by a fan who wrote her every week for 15 years.
Betty White’s manager said she was ‘beloved’ by fans
White’s manager, Jeff Witjas, told People magazine he often told The Golden Girls star how much fans loved her. He wanted to make her aware of the admiration fans had for her. Witjas says he’s not sure if White really understood how deeply fans cared for her.
“Even when she wasn’t working, I said, ‘Betty, millions of people out there are still asking for you,’” said Witjas. “You’re getting your fan letters. I’m getting offers for you.’ I don’t know if she ever embraced it, [or] really, really felt it. The extent of it. I really don’t.”
Witjas said he wanted White to know she was still important to so many people. “I would always reinforce it with her because I always felt she should know that,” he continued. “I never wanted her to think while she was sitting at home, that the world has passed her by. It never did.”
One fan wrote Betty White a letter every week for 15 years
One example of the love fans had for White was demonstrated by a fan who wrote a letter to her every week for 15 years. White was so moved by the fan’s loyalty that she wrote about it in her book, Betty White in Person.
“Her name was Evelyn Martin, and her letters would come without fail every Monday morning,” wrote White. She said Martin would always send one sheet that had writing on both sides. White noticed the woman would always stop on the second page, even if she was in the middle of a sentence. The end of her notes would say, “Love Evelyn.”
Martin liked to fill White in on the details of her life. She would tell her about her friends and the club meetings she attended. However, White said she didn’t tell her much about herself. One thing Martin did make clear was that she loved Christmas. She would celebrate until Spring and then write about how much she was looking forward to next Christmas.
White said her husband, Allen Ludden, enjoyed Martin’s letters. He began sending her Christmas wreaths every year. Martin’s notes continued to arrive every Monday. However, one day, White received a letter with handwriting she didn’t recognize. It was a note from Martin’s neighbor. The neighbor let White know that Martin died in her sleep.
Betty White appreciated the fan mail she received
White said she also had a fan who wrote to her for 30 years. There were also fans whose children and then grandchildren began writing her. “In a couple of cases, we’re on our third generation,” marveled White in her book.
White said she received letters from fans of all ethnic backgrounds, ages, and economic levels. She appreciated the letters because they allowed her to get to know the people who watched her on TV. She said through these notes, she has “gone through their marriages and divorces,” and “watched their children grow.” White was flattered that her fans wanted to make her a part of their lives. They saw her as a dear friend.
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