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AARP Goes Hollywood With Betty White

TV's Golden Girl wants you to embrace your age

Betty is at a loss to explain the pop star-sized surge of love coming her way from the public and the industry over the past couple of years, with her snicker-inducing Snickers Super Bowl commercial, her Saturday Night Live guest hosting gig demanded by fans on Facebook, her movie roles in The Proposal and You Again, and her TV show guest appearances and series.

"I've never really gone away," she points out. "I'm just very grateful to not only be busy but enjoying all of it.

"I love Hot in Cleveland, which is not so new now. I love the girls, love working with them," she adds, speaking of co-stars Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick and Jane Leeves.

Betty completed the second season of Hot in Cleveland, shooting on a Friday night. The following Monday, she was on a plane heading East to begin a book tour. Ahead she has her latest TV enterprise: hosting and serving as executive producer of Off Their Rockers, the American version of a hit European show that has senior citizens playing pranks on younger people.

"For once the older people come out ahead," Betty proclaims. She's quick to add, "I think it's kind of fun. It's nothing harmful."

She's looking forward to employing actor pals to pull off the punking — "older character actors and actresses who would like to work. We can't use some of our famous friends because it would give away our setups."

Having that much input into the show sounds like a lot of work, but Betty says, "I'm OK as long as it doesn't get to be too much pressure. It mustn't be that. It must be fun."

Where does she get the energy to do all she does?

"I'm blessed with good health. I'm so lucky with that," she acknowledges. "I love what I do. I'm blessed with that. I don't think of it as work, because I'm doing what I enjoy. I've never needed much sleep. I go to bed late and get up early. I'm rarely in bed before midnight and I'm often up till 1 o'clock, and then I'm up again by 6:30. If I get four or five hours of good sleep, I'm all right."

Even though Betty's cast mates and others tend to be protective of her, she's known for insisting on doing things for herself, including driving. Although she's had more dogs and cats surrounding her in the past, today she has but one dog with whom she shares her home: a 7-year-old golden retriever she describes as a "career change service dog" that came with the name Pontiac.

Next: "Animals are my real life." >>

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