“The First Lady of Television” and “America’s Dad”: Leaving Behind a Legacy


Marley Gandee, Reporter

Our world recently lost two important members in the history of entertainment: Betty White and Bob Saget. Betty White died on December 31st, only 17 days away from her 100 birthday, while Bob Saget unexpectedly died at age 65 in his sleep on January 9th while away at a stand-up comedy tour. Betty White earned multiple acting awards including a Guinness World record for the longest television career as a TV actress and comedian and an Emmy Award for The Golden Girls. Bob Saget was most well-known for his performance on Full House (1987-1995) and the sequel, Fuller House (2016-2020) as Danny Tanner, where he earned the nickname of “America’s Dad”. He was also nominated for a Grammy Award for the Best Comedy Album.

Not only did Bob Saget and Betty White have astonishing careers in entertainment, but they both also left behind a remarkable legacy. Betty White loved animals. That was her legacy, she was an Animal Rights Activist, and besides her stardom, animals were her greatest love. Her service to animals even continued beyond the grave. Fans started the #BettyWhiteChallenge, which asks other fans to donate $5 to an animal shelter or rescue of their choice. Even before her birthday, hundreds of dollars were pouring into the Columbus Humane, just the start of a nationwide project. All in memory of the clearly much loved Betty White.

Bob Saget‘s legacy was a bit more personal to him and changed a different kind of life. In 1994 Bob Saget’s sister, Gay, passed away from Scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease. Even before his sister’s death, he became involved with Scleroderma Research Foundation, or SRF. “Bob was a deeply caring father, husband, colleague, and friend, who was unreservedly committed to the mission of the SRF,” said the SRF organization after his death. Along with Betty White, his aid continued even though he was gone. After his death, a tribute to the SRF was made in his honor.

Betty White and Bob Saget had also bumped into each other a couple of times in their careers. In an Instagram post in Betty White’s honor only a week before he passed, he said, “Razor-sharp wit, smart, kind, hilarious, sincere, and so full of love. From the first time I snuck into The Mary Tyler Moore Show at 15 years old and watched her hit everything she said out of the park, to decades later, getting to hang out with her on several occasions, I had a small peek into what a remarkable talent and human being Betty was.”

Countless celebreties, fans, and friends took to social media to pay tribute to these two iconic actors.