The beloved national treasure and Golden Girls star was recognized on the Emmys stage, introduced by comedian Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin, and surprised the audience with her bright presence and a short but hilarious thank-you speech. The audience response: a rapturous standing ovation.
“Little did I dream then that I would be here,” White said; she’s now 96, and received her first Emmy back in 1975 for Outstanding Supporting Actress on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Over the years, she’s taken home eight Emmys and been nominated 24 times for all of her memorable television roles. “It’s incredible that you can be in a career this long and still have people put up with you,” she said in her speech, joking, “I wish they did that at home.”
In an often lackluster awards show evening, her sweet gratitude and light humor were just what the night needed — and a reminder that White remains a living legend and has earned her title as the “First Lady of Television” for a reason.