"My beloved Allen Ludden and I had a very special, special love, as do Neal and Caroline in the film.”
Betty White's death came as a shock to many people. Betty—who was literally older than sliced bread, has gifted us with a lot of amazing roles, but one role of hers that really stands out is her role in the 2010 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, The Lost Valentine.
In the movie, White plays the character of Caroline, who is a devoted wife who visits a train station every Valentine’s Day. The reason she goes there is because it was the last place where she saw the husband who went missing in action during World War II.
Eventually, Caroline is approached by a TV reporter to ask her if she's willing to share her story. She agrees and begins to tell the reporter about the touching love story that she shared with her husband, which is aptly portrayed by the flashback scenes in the film.
Inspired and moved by their love, the reporter decides to help track down Caroline's husband. The missing Navy pilot is finally located and brought home to his wife, and what happened to him and their love story unfurls.
According to Country Music Family, Betty White gave the performance of a lifetime as her character finally gets closure in the movie’s final scene.
While it was an amazing movie, White revealed to CBS that she almost didn't take on the role of Caroline, since she had prior obligations that wouldn’t allow her to go to Atlanta to film. However, her agent insisted she gave the script a read, and from that point onwards, there was no turning back for her. She knew she couldn't turn down a role that would help her revisit her own love story.
“When I read the script, I was hooked. I had to do the movie,” White said. “It was such a beautiful love story. When you’ve had a love like that in your life, it’s an awful temptation to revisit it. My beloved Allen Ludden and I had a very special, special love, as do Neal and Caroline in the film.”
Though White had been married for a total of three times, she considered her last marriage to Ludden her best. The two were married for 18 years after she met the game show host in 1961 when she appeared as a guest on his game show, Password.
Though the two of them knew there were sparks flying, she was hesitant to dive deep into the relationship, given how her last two marriages had failed. "I kept saying no for a year," White recalled, 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.'"
Honestly, that turned out to be one of the best decisions of her life. On June 14, 1963, the couple tied the knot and went on to have 18 glorious years together before Ludden succumbed to stomach cancer in 1981, reported TODAY. “I had 18 wonderful years with Allen Ludden," White told Piers Morgan in 2012. "The first two were . . . rehearsals."
However, the only regret she had with her husband was that she didn't get married to him sooner. "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."
Despite this tiny regret, White and Ludden enjoyed life as a married couple, and now they must be together in heaven, as well.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Frederick M. Brown