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Betty White has no plans to retire, says she almost played Blanche on 'The Golden Girls'

09/15/2010 by Corinne Heller

Betty White poses in a promotional photo of the cast of 'Hot in Cleveland' (Photo credit: TV Land)Betty White says retirement is not a dirty word for her but that she enjoys her acting career, as the 88-year-old reminisced about the 1980s series that made her even more famous, The Golden Girls, which first aired 25 years ago and which originally saw her playing man-crazy Blanche Devereaux.

White became the only surviving cast member of The Golden Girls following the death of friend and co-star Rue McClanahan, who played Devereux, in June.

"It is not a dirty word, I am just enjoying what I am doing," White, who ended up playing naive Rose Nylund on the senior sitcom, told the Associated Press when asked about retirement. "If they want me to retire, then stop asking me, Ask and I will say yes unless it is something I really don't like."

White is enjoying an on-screen comeback following a must talked-about Super bowl commercial and a subsequent successful Facebook push to have her host Saturday Night Live. The ratings for the episode were among the highest for the series and White nabbed an Emmy for her performance. She has a total of five Emmy Awards, including one for her role on The Golden Girls.

"You get a lot of scripts mailed to you and not too many of them are good, but when this one came along it just hit the spot and they sent it to each of us," White said about the show's first script. "They sent it to me with the idea of me doing Blanche."

She said that one of the directors, who also worked on her former series, Mary Tyler Moore, did not want her to play a similar character, which he called "another nymphomaniac". White said the cast's first table read went smoothly.

"We all began to look at each other because there wasn't any first reading feeling about it," she said. "It was like we had been working together forever. I still get goose bumps thinking about it."

White is currently a cast member on the TV Land comedy series Hot in Cleveland and stars with Jamie Lee Curtis and Veronica Mars actress Kristen Bell in the comedy film You Again, which is set for release on September 24.

The actress is set to become the star of her own comic book biography called Female Force: Betty White and will have her own 2011 calendar out in September, which features her posing with animals as well as half-naked men wearing shorts.

Last month, it was announced White will write two books that deal with issues such as sex, animals and her work as an actress. Her first book, Listen Up, will focus on her Hollywood career, including her time on The Golden Girls.

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