Suddenly Betty: A Golden Girl’s Forgotten Emmy-Nominated Turn

Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! This week, we’re celebrating the 97th birthday of the lady known as Betty White, who was born on January 17, 1922. I initially thought about honoring this sitcom legend by discussing one of her series that we haven’t highlighted yet — like Maybe This Time (1995-1996, ABC) or Ladies Man (1999-2001, CBS) — but I don’t think those would warrant sufficient celebration. (Read: I might not be able to be so kind…)

Instead, I’m featuring a more definitively enjoyable effort with which she was associated: a fun episode of the intermittently okay Suddenly Susan (1996-2000, NBC), winkingly entitled “Golden Girl Friday.” Written by Rick Singer & Andrew Green and directed by Shelley Jensen, it was broadcast as the series’ seventh episode on November 7, 1996. The plot has White playing a sweet but incompetent older woman who sues the magazine after being fired. But there may be more to her than meets the eye…

It’s a decent segment of a sometimes decent series, but White makes it look effortless, and with a character that plays with both facets of her persona — the naive granny and the scheming viper — it’s a pretty good showcase and, in fact, earned her an Emmy nomination. (She lost to Carol Burnett for Mad About You. But don’t worry — White had won in the category the year before for her appearance on The John Larroquette Show.) So, I think this makes for a fitting tribute to a TV icon — a forgotten chapter from her epic book of guest starring roles.



Happy birthday, Betty White! 



Come back next week for another Wildcard post! And stay tuned Tuesday for more Just Shoot Me!