The daytime news programs started their broadcasts with breaking news of the last full combat brigade pulling out of Iraq. While that’s great news, I for one was drawn to a lesser important breaking story. It seems that media darling Betty White is making headlines again with her latest in a string of business ventures.
Forget Oprah, Betty White is arguably the busiest woman in show business. Having just wrapped the first season of her hugely successful TV Land series, Hot In Cleveland, the 88-year-old living legend isn’t wasting a second of her recently rebooted career. Adding to her growing list of entrepreneurial endeavors, White just inked a new two-book deal, lent her likeness to a trendy line of hoodies, will be featured on a hunk-filled calendar and what’s more, she may be playing God in an upcoming movie.
First up, the new book deal. White just signed with G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of publishing giant, Penguin Group, to write two new books in the next two years. Of the new deal, White said, “Much as I love what I do for a living in show business, I love writing even more, so I am thrilled to be working on not only one new but, but two of them.”
According to a statement from the publisher, White will author Listen Up!, an autobiography that will revisit White’s six decades-long career, including her recent resurgence in popularity thanks to her hilarious Snickers Super Bowl commercial and her recent Saturday Night Live hosting gig. Listen Up! is due in stores Spring of 2011, just as season two of Hot In Cleveland comes to a close.
No novice to the literary world, White has already penned a bookcase full of previously released titles including two autobiographies: Betty White In Person (Doubleday/1987) and Here We Go Again: My Life In Television (Scribner/1995).
White’s second book for G.P. Putnam’s Sons, The Zoo and I: Betty and Her Friends, will follow in 2012, touching on a subject near and dear to the actress’ heart, animals. The Zoo and I will explore White’s passion for animal welfare, having been a longtime board member of the Los Angeles Zoo. Through personal stories and photographs White will share memories of her lifelong work as an animal activist. The Zoo and I marks the fourth time White has written about animals and their relationships with humans. Back in 1983, White co-authored Betty White’s Pet Love: How Pets Take Care of Us (HarperCollins). In 1991, she teamed with blind singer/entertainer Tom Sullivan for The Leading Lady: Dinah’s Story, a touching true-life story of Sullivan’s golden retriever guide dog. Just two years ago, Sullivan and White re-teamed for Together (Thomas Nelson), a novel about a man who loses his sight and the guide dog who helps him regain the vision of what matters in life.
White’s ever-expanding legions of fans don’t have to wait till her books arrive in stores to get the latest from Betty. Following last night’s Hot In Cleveland season finale, TV Land is now offering a line of t-shirts, mugs and other items based on the finale’s plot in which Elka (White) got arrested. To check out the Free Elka offerings from TV Land, CLICK HERE.
That’s not all, just last month, apparel company Jerry Leigh debut a line of Betty White-inspired hoodies and t-shirts. No they’re not bedazzled like the one’s White wears as Elka Ostrovsky on Hot In Cleveland, although if anyone from QVCC is listening, that’s probably not a bad idea, instead, these feature pop-art images of White and funky sayings like: “Who’s Your Betty” and “Now Betty Than Ever”. Aiming for the Snickers/SNL set, the Betty White Hoodies come with built-in mp3 headphones. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the Jerry Leigh clothing line will benefit one of Betty’s favorite charities, the Morris Animal Foundation. To see the full line of t’s and hoodies, CLICK HERE.
Also, be on the look out for the 2011 Betty White Pin-Up Calendar as it hits stores in October. That’s right, Betty will be featured alongside a bevy of muscle-bound beefcake models each month. Like the clothing line, the 2011 calendar will also benefit the Morris Animal Foundation. To pre-order the calendar, CLICK HERE. For more on the Morris Animal Foundation, CLICK HERE.
Still want more Betty? Next month, Betty will be back on the small screen and back on the network that made her our favorite Golden Girl. On September 23 White drops by the second season premiere of NBC’s Community where she’ll guest star as Professor June Bauer. The next day, it’s back to the big screen when You Again opens in theatres across the country. White co-stars in the romantic comedy as Grandma Bunny alongside Kristen Bell, Odette Yustman, Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Also rumored to be in the works, if things go according to plan, White could be playing God himself (or herself, in this interpretation) if she’s cast in the long-pitched remake of Oh God. The 1977 film starred John Denver as a supermarket manager whose life changes when he hears a message from God (played by George Burns in the original and it’s less successful sequels). Paul Rudd, currently starring in Dinner for Schmucks, is also rumored as being courted for the project.