White brought Ludden there in his final days, but he could only spend two nights there before passing away in 1981 at the age of 63.
Betty White found that the third time was the charm for her when it came to finding love. The late legendary performer began performing on the CBS program Password when she was 39 and wasn't really in the rush to find love after her two divorces. But, as fate would have it, on those sets, she met the love of her life, Allen Ludden.
After losing his first wife, the mother of his three children, to cancer just a few weeks after the release of Password on October 2, 1961, Ludden, then 44, was recently widowed. White once remarked that he was "never too busy to say a warm good-bye after the last show finished," per Closer Weekly. Soon, their romance blossomed and they got married in 1963.
Betty White and husband Allen Ludden at home, 1972. 💑 pic.twitter.com/GS4I9bD9Ui— Groovy History (@GroovyHistory) October 6, 2022
“When [Allen] was trying to talk me into getting married, he would say, ‘I’ll build you a house in Carmel.’ Boy did he ever,” Betty recalled. But in the 1970s, Ludden received the horrifying news that he had terminal stomach cancer. The host was still able to work with White to construct his ideal house in Carmel, California because the disease came on gradually. Sadly, Ludden passed away the year the house got done and they were ready to move, per E! News.
White brought him there in his final days, but he could only spend two nights there before passing away in 1981 at the age of 63. "I just fell apart, and we (she and their dogs) sat together on the floor," she recalled being home alone days after his death. Betty, then 59, continued to live in the same house as a tribute to their love until she passed in 2021.
"The home embodies the spirit of Betty and Allen. It was eloquently understated with the focus on nature and the natural beauty surrounding the home," Real Estate Broker Nicole Truszkowski told PEOPLE at the time of the house's sale after White's death.
Read Betty White’s home will be leveled and sold for land value. I find that incredibly sad. Here she is with her beloved husband Allen Ludden outside the home during the 1970s. pic.twitter.com/D6BE5wTCuk— Vintage Los Angeles (@alisonmartino) April 28, 2022
The Golden Girls actress did not have any children of her own but was a great stepmother to Ludden's children. Of becoming a stepmother, White previously told PEOPLE, "It turned out great." She added that she felt "blessed" to take on the role. White's co-star from the romantic comedy The Proposal, Sandra Bullock, remembered White's emotions about being a stepmom while speaking with PEOPLE years ago. "Betty said, 'You know what? I never had children biologically. I married someone who had three children. And how blessed I was to have those three stepchildren,'" she explained.
The Hot in Cleveland star then echoed those feelings, sharing that she never got remarried because "I had the love of my life. If you have had the best, who needs the rest?" The star loved her late husband right to her last breath. Even her last words were a tribute to her husband. She reportedly said, "Allen" right before she passed away in 2021, per Independent.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Toby Canham