It was White's third husband, Allen Ludden, who truly stole her heart and her biggest regret was not tying the knot sooner. Post his death, she had no intention of remarrying again because "once you've had the best, who needs the rest?"
Even at the age of 97, there is no stopping Betty White, who continues to rule both the television and the big screen with her delightful yet savage performances. We just cannot get enough of The Golden Girls actress who has come a long way in her career and personal life. Unlike most, White got the opportunity to experience love three times. But for the star, her greatest love was her third husband, Allen Ludden, with whom she had a loving marriage of 18 years.
According to a report by Country Living, White first married US army pilot Dick Barker in 1945. Following a divorce, she tied the knot with Hollywood agent Lane Allen in 1947 but their matrimonial union ended in 1949 as her then-husband wasn't supportive of her career. According to a report by Insider, the Life With Elizabeth star shared, "He didn't want me to be in show business. When you have a calling you have to follow it, so I made the choice, blew the marriage and I've never regretted it." Thankfully her decision to end things turned out to be amazing as it led her to her real love.
It was in 1961 when the two lovebirds first met on the sets of Password, a game show hosted by Allen Ludden. White who was a guest on the show was quickly smitten by Ludden who too couldn't escape her charm reports Southern Living. However, after going through two divorces, the then 39-year-old actress felt like a "failure", so she refused to get married again and told NewsWeek the same during an interview in May 2011. But this didn't stop Ludden from proposing to her twice before she eventually accepted his proposal. "I kept saying no for a year," recalled the star according to HuffPost. "Finally, Easter came along. He sent me a white stuffed bunny with diamond earrings clipped to its ears and a card that said, 'Please Say Yes?' So when I answered the phone that night, I didn’t say hello, I just said, 'Yes.'"
Thus began the best phase of White's life especially after the pair got married on June 14, 1963. Unfortunately after spending 18 glorious years with each other, Ludden was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1981 according to Today. Speaking to Piers Morgan in 2012, Betty affirmed, "I had 18 wonderful years with Allen Ludden. The first two were . . . rehearsals." Sharing the sweet moments of bliss spent with the love of her life, White continued, "Even long after we were married, he’d call me up during the day and ask me out on a date. He’d barbecue a chicken. We’d have a glass of wine, put on a stack of records, and dance. Now, that’s silly for an old married couple—and a far cry from my first marriage, in terms of chickens—but it worked."
However, the Annie's Point actress regrets wasting a whole year rejecting Ludden's proposal. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2015, White confessed, "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," she told Winfrey. "I wasted a whole year we could have had together." Nevertheless, she was glad that they finally ended up together. "But we made it. We finally did," she added. And after spending 18 years of bliss with her third husband, the actress had no plans on getting married. "Once you've had the best, who needs the rest?" White reportedly told Larry King reports Daily Mail.