Betty White Shares Her Lifelong Love of Animals

Betty White Kellie Freeze

Betty White is still going strong in her nineties, and her boundless energy extends well beyond her love of entertaining to her first love: animals.

Betty White Now White is taking the trip of a lifetime to meet some of the world’s most intelligent and inspiring animals in a limited series airing on Great American Country, Betty White’s Smartest Animals in America. The limited series premieres Saturday, Jan. 17 at 8pmET — the star’s 93rd birthday.

“With all the smart animals we’ve met – the more we take time to learn about them, the more we realize how amazing they really are,” said White. “Any excuse to be around animals, I’ll take it!”

Betty WhiteIn the special, White meets many inspiring animals including gentle elephants, a fearless honey badger, playful dolphins, curious kea birds and intelligent pixie pigs. But no animal connects as deeply with the legendary comedienne as Koko, an astounding gorilla who communicates using sign languages. This isn’t the first time White has met this legendary animal; they first met in 2006 and their 2014 visit was even more inspiring.

“By communicating in a human language to express her needs or be able to respond to a sad film just like we do, Koko forces us to realize that a gorilla is so much more than just an animal,” says White. “To look into the eyes of a 300-pound gorilla and have her tell you what she’s thinking is truly humbling.”

Even though she has starred in several legendary sitcoms, hosted specials, was a beloved panelist on game shows and has been nominated for an Emmy Award a whopping 21 times, Betty’s love, respect and advocacy for animals may be her finest legacy.

Betty White’s Smartest Animals in America > Great American Country > Saturday, Jan. 17 8pm ET

Images © 2014, Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


  1. To love animals your whole life is a true gift to one’s self. There love and kindness makes me believe there is still true love and innocence the world, a sense of peace that animal lovers only know. I wish I could share this feeling with the whole world. We would have a calmer place in life.

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