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Collection from Betty White donated to Comedy Center

Submitted Photo

As the 37th anniversary of The Golden Girls television debut is marked today, the National Comedy Center, the United States’ official cultural institution dedicated to the art form of comedy, announced that it has received rare artifacts, wardrobe and awards from the estate of comedy legend and actress Betty White, which will become part of the Center’s permanent archives. Much of the collection, which includes pieces from White’s award-winning work in acclaimed TV comedies The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls and Hot in Cleveland, is now on display at the National Comedy Center’s state-of-the-art museum in Jamestown.

The collection donated to the National Comedy Center features scripts hand-annotated by Betty White, plus several articles of Betty White’s screen-used wardrobe now on display – including a Rose Nylund sweater, an Elka Ostrovsky tracksuit from Hot in Cleveland, and a gown worn by White at the 1986 Emmy® Awards ceremony, plus five Emmy statuettes for wins spanning nearly 60 years, including Life with Elizabeth in 1952, The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1975 and 1976, The Golden Girls in 1986 and as guest host of Saturday Night Live in 2010. The collection also features career memorabilia, including the sweater White wore in her iconic Superbowl XLV commercial and a Guinness World Record certificate for “Longest TV Career by a Female Entertainer.”

“Betty White has had a remarkable impact on the world of comedy. She brought laughter to millions and made it look effortless, when in fact, she was a true master of the art form,” stated National Comedy Center executive director Journey Gunderson. “Betty’s story and her body of work have united, entertained, and inspired generations of fans, and her performances are infused with a genuine love for the comedic craft. Her story is a remarkable one, not least because of the unerring grace and resilience she modeled as an artist navigating an evolving entertainment industry across seven decades – never losing relevancy and never failing to reinvent herself and her work to meet the moment. We are truly honored to celebrate Betty White in our galleries and to preserve her materials for generations to come.”

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