Television legend Betty White will soon be returning to the small screen, as the beloved 98-year-old has signed on to star in an upcoming Lifetime Christmas movie. While the title of the TV movie hasn’t yet been revealed, Lifetime has revealed a few details about the “Santa whisperer” character she’ll be playing, suggesting she just might be part of the Claus family herself. According to the network, White’s character “helps whip would-be Santas into shape, spreading the true meaning of Christmas and leading everyone to wonder: Is she secretly Mrs. Claus?” That certainly sounds like a part tailor-made for White to play.
If Betty White turns out to be Mrs. Claus in this upcoming Lifetime Christmas movie, it still wouldn’t be the first time the legendary actress has played that part in her decades-long career. She first played Mrs. Claus when she voiced an animated version of the character in the 1996 movie The Story of Santa Claus, with Ed Asner also co-starring as the titular gift giver. In 1998, White would play a live-action version of Mrs. Claus in a holiday episode of the Canadian children’s series Noddy. White would voice Mrs. Claus once again for the 2010 television special Prep & Landing: Operation: Secret Santa, which serves as a tie-in to the original 2009 Christmas special Prep & Landing.
This news comes in as Betty White has been staying at home in recent months to avoid getting sick. After Tom Hanks and other celebrities had begun to reveal their diagnoses, many fans of the Golden Girls star had taken to social media to express their concern over White’s health. With so many people worried, a representative for White had reported that the 98-year-old was “fine” and had been staying at home and practicing social distancing measures as many others have been. She’s certainly been missed, but it’s nice to know we’ll see her back on television soon enough to place yet another acting credit on her spectacular career.
White’s long career is nothing short of incredible, with dozens upon dozens of memorable movie and TV appearances. This includes big roles on shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Hot in Cleveland. Of course, some of us know White best for her role playing Rose Nylund on the popular ’80s comedy series The Golden Girls between 1985 and 1992. After winning the Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for the show’s first season, White continued to be nominated every year thereafter, serving as a fan favorite for many who watched the show. She’d later reprise the role for the spin-off series The Golden Palace along with Estelle Getty and Rue McClanahan.
White’s untitled Christmas movie is one of 50 television movies Lifetime plans on premiering on the network over the rest of the year. Also announced as a part of the network’s original holiday movie offerings is the Merry Liddle Christmas sequel Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding, with star Kelly Rowland reprising the lead role, along with the Melissa Joan Hart-directed movie Feliz NaviDad starring Mario Lopez. This news comes to us from TVLine.