Betty White Fell in Love With Her Husband, Allen Ludden in Madison, Maine
The Passing of a Beloved Legend
The iconic Betty White passed away just a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday on New Years' Eve 2021.
She was a woman of many talents and perhaps the most known from her roles on The Mary Tyler More Show and The Golden Girls but her resume was filled with so much more.
Betty wasn't just great on camera but on the stage. In the early 1960s, she performed in a couple of plays in northern New England; "Janus" and "Critic's Choice". It was during "Critic's Choice" that she truly fell for her friend and co-star Allen Ludden, who would become her husband in 1963.
Lakewood Theater, Madison, Maine
The Los Angeles Times pointed to a moment on Password, which Allen Ludden hosted. Betty and Allen were discussing their summer plans to perform together in summer stock theater productions in Cape Cod and Maine.
In 1962 Betty White and Allen Ludden took the stage at Lakewood Theater in Madison, Maine in the romantic comedy "Critic's Choice". Betty played the role of Angela Ballantine and Allen as Parker Ballantine. You can see the playbill from the show here.
It was during this time that Ludden began actively pursuing her. According to LA times, his three kids were very much involved in courting her as well. She noted that “He didn’t ever say good morning or hello, it was, ‘Will you marry me?’”
They married the following year.
"When you've had the best, who needs the rest?"
Betty White had been married twice and Allen Ludden once prior to the pair coming together.
Sadly their love story was relatively short-lived as Allen Ludden passed away from stomach cancer in 1981. According to Today, Betty said to Oprah in an interview that she had but one regret in her life. She regrets the year "wasted" saying no to marrying Allen as that could have been another year spent together.
After his passing Betty had no desire to remarry. Carol Burnett told People that White would say she wouldn't marry again because she already "had the best". A sentiment she shared often, even with Larry King in 2014 saying, "When you've had the best, who needs the rest?"
Burnett went on in her interview with People gushing over their shared humor, "joyful" and "devoted" relationship.
With nearly a century of life, it's wonderful that Maine played a small role in not only her wonderful life but her wonderful love story.