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Betty White's Emotional Last Word Revealed By Her Close Friend

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Meet Allen Ludden — Betty White's Husband Who Passed Away In 1981Betty White

Betty White's final word before she passed away on New Year's Eve, just weeks before her 100th birthday, showcased the strength of her love for her late-husband Allen Ludden.

Actor Vicki Lawrence, who worked with White on the 1980s sitcom “Mama’s Family,” revealed that a mutual friend of her and White, Carol Burnett, had disclosed that the Hollywood legend called out for her husband as she passed away.

“Carol wrote back and said, ‘I know, I know. I spoke to Betty’s assistant, who was with her when she passed, and she said the very last word out of her mouth was ‘Allen,’” Lawrence told Page Six.

This comes after White's agent, Jeff Witjas, told People that White never feared dying because “she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again.”

Ludden, who died in 1981, is best known as a game show host of shows like "Password." 

Clearly he is one of the greatest loves of White's life as she looked forward to being reunited with him after her passing. And, if you dig into their love story its obvious why.

Who is Betty White's husband, Allen Ludden?

Allen Ludden is a TV personality who married White in 1963 and remained married to her until his death.

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Ludden was White's third husband.

Even though she could support herself, as her net worth is 75 million dollars, White wanted to find love. She was married three times — the first was a short-lived marriage to Army Air Corps pilot Dick Barker in 1945 before divorcing that same year. Next was Lane Allen, a Hollywood agent she was married to from 1947-1949. 

She married Allen Ludden on June 14, 1963, until his tragic death less than a week before his and White's 18-year wedding anniversary about a year after he was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer. 

Ludden also worked in TV. 

Much like White made her living as a television personality, Ludden did the same. Born on October 5th, 1917, Ludden grew up in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, and got his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 1938 and later received a Master of Arts in English in 1941. He then joined the U.S. Army and made a career for himself there.

After he left the army, Ludden went on to be known for hosting game shows, including "GE College Bowl," "Password," and around the 1970's he officially moved to Los Angeles where Password would continue airing from 1971-1975. A few years later, "Password Plus" was then created and aired from 1979-1982.

Aside from that, Ludden also released an album and wrote several advice books, as well as a novel for children. 

Ludden proposed to White several times before she accepted. 

Before Betty, Ludden was married to Margaret McGloin in 1943, and the two of them had a son, David, and two daughters, Martha and Sarah. Unfortunately, after only 18 years of marriage, she died of cancer in 1961. Two years later Ludden would meet White on Password and the rest is history.

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After Ludden met White, he couldn't take his eyes off of her. White admitted that Ludden proposed to her for a full year before she said yes in 1963 and that not saying yes sooner was one of her biggest regrets

"I just wasn't about to take another chance," White said in the 2012 CNN interview. "Then I thought, 'Am I going to live the rest of my life without this man?' Thank goodness we got married when we did." 

"I spent a whole year, wasted a whole year that Allen and I could have had together, saying, 'No, I wouldn't marry him. No, I won't. No, I won't leave California. No, I won't move to New York,'" White said. "I wasted a whole year we could have had together. But we made it. We finally did."

Ludden has been featured before on White's Instagram.


A post shared by Betty White (@bettymwhite) on Jan 26, 2017 at 3:18pm PST

White doesn't post often on social media, and only one of her 53 Instagram posts has included Ludden. In 2017, after Mary Tyler Moore's death, she shared a photo with the late actress that also included Ludden and Grant Tinker.

"Mary Tyler Moore, Grant Tinker, Allen Ludden, and I had some of the best times of my life together. She was special," White wrote at the time.

Even though Betty didn't have any children with Allen, she helped him raise his children David, Martha, and Sarah from his previous marriage. 

Ludden died in 1981 from stomach cancer.

After Ludden's death, White said she wouldn't remarry.  

In fact, in the past, White has called her first two marriages "dress rehearsals," and she once told The actress never remarried, because, as she told Anderson Cooper, "I had the love of my life. If you've had the best, who needs the rest?" 

"I made two mistakes before Allen, but the love of your life doesn't come along in every life, so I am very grateful that I found him."

Ludden may have been gone for almost 40 years, but it's clear that he won't be forgotten — and certainly not by White.

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Nicole Pomarico is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Cosmo, Us Weekly, Refinery29, and more.