Betty imbued charm, wit, and sincerity at each and every turn, always ready to poke fun at herself and those around her, eager to uncover both the humanity in comedy and the comedy in humanity. baseDivId: 'pb-slot-right-1', } #betty #criticized #having #arthur #tap #dancer #show #said #im #sorry #live #gave #even #more . White was briefly married to U.S. army pilot Dick Barker in 1945.Two years later, White wed Hollywood agent Lane Allen, whom she divorced in 1949. She even had a regular childrens segment. In 1957, he became the first Black performer to joinBob Hopes USO troop as they entertained U.S. troops in the Pacific for Christmas. At a time when racial segregation was at boiling point, there were strong calls from different quarters to remove a tap dancer named Arthur Duncan from her show. Arthur first appeared on The Betty White Show in 1954. The Betty White Show is a television series that aired on KLAC-TV (now KCOP-TV) in 1952 and 1953, and on NBC in 1954. She was fond of leveraging her power to extend empathy towards those who were far less privileged than her. He holds dual bachelor's degrees from Pace University and a master's degree from New York University. "Well, Betty wrote back and said: 'needless to say, we used Arthur Duncan every opportunity we could,'" he said. But White didnt capitulate, telling her critics, Im sorry, but he stays. Betty White: reglnyok: Bea Arthur: reglnyok: Phylicia Rashad: The Cosby Show Rue McClanahan: reglnyok: Shelley Long: Cheers: . Duncan was featured on the show at least three times. As in, before the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Little Rock Nine and the Greensboro, N.C., lunch-counter sit-ins. targeting: { Her respond to pressure to stop featuring him was that people had to "live with it.". Steve Harvey's "Little Big Shots: Forever Young.". Arthur Duncan performed wherever he could. Oborfacts What can i say? - Wikipedia-----Video originally shared on archive.orgShared for historical purposes. On another episode, White interviewed a Black child during the childrens segment. . Later on, Arthur was discovered by Sam Lutz, Lawrence Welks personal manager and was invited to perform as part of Welks musical family.. But one heartwarming story about her principled stand in supporting a Black colleagues career despite opposition highlighted another facet of her life. "I hope we have a chance to visit after this is over," Duncan told White, to which she replied: "Oh, I hope so. Arthur Duncan, a gifted dancer whose appearance on one of Betty White's early TV shows prompted a showdown between southern censors and White, died January 4. Since 1970, BLACK ENTERPRISE has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. Age isnt an excuse to be horrible to other people. ). The beloved actress was preparing to celebrate her 100th birthday with a big televised special that will still air despite her passing only a few weeks before the age . In December 1957, he became the first Black man to join Bob Hopes 100-member troupe to tour U.S. military bases worldwide. NBCArthur Duncan (left) and Betty White (seated) at their reunion on Steve Harveys Little Big Shots: Forever Young in 2017. Arthur, did you have a nice weekend? Betty White asked Arthur Duncan. The show was a daytime talk show that also featured entertainment segments that are typical of variety shows. If Betty White was able to extend so much love and admiration to everyone shed come across over the years, anyone can do the same. Well, Betty wrote back and said, Needless to say, we used Arthur Duncan every opportunity we could.'. "I'm sorry, but, you know, he stays," White said,according to a PBS biography. page_type: 'article', as well as other partner offers and accept our. You never ask me out.. The entertainment world is mourning beloved actress Betty White, "our national treasure." The "Golden Girls" and "Mary Tyler Moore" star died Dec. 31. Whats more intriguing is that this wasnt Bettys sole act of defiance within the show; she interviewed a Black child on the special when it was considered controversial to do so. In 1961, the then 39-year-old actress met the man . Betty White In Person (1987). Wikimedia CommonsBetty Whites show was canceled the same year she invited Duncan on as a guest three times. You never call. Even at the risk of cancelation, White insisted that Arthur Duncan stay on and thus helped launch a successful career for him. Duncan, who is black, was on the show when it went national and southern states started complaining about his inclusion in the show. Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images. Betty White was weeks away from her 100th birthday and planned a big celebration. This was in 1954. The legendary dancer discussed how Betty White gave him his first job on. Live with it," and she gave Duncan even more airtime. Decades later, in the doc, he was still in awe of her. tag: 'mandc,celebrity,entertainment-industry,racism', Television was still a new medium, but White was already a veteran performer of stage and radio, had acted on a sitcom and had co-hosted a Los Angeles daytime talk show. The special is called Betty White: First Lady of Television. "Well, Betty wrote back and said, 'Needless to say, we used Arthur Duncan every opportunity we could.'" CNN . In a heartening example of life coming full circle, 55-year-old Arthur Duncan was still tap-dancing when the son of his former mentor approached him with a project. White, who died Friday, would have turned 100 on Jan. 17. "Her response: 'I'm sorry. She made sure to strengthen causes that needed backing, those that required people to break the mold and upset the masses. White hired a female director and Arthur Duncan, an African American actor, . It was a big opportunity for Arthur, who turned it into a career in show business that has lasted more than 60 years. Arthur even became the first African-American regular on a variety show when he appeared on, , or leave your comments below. According to the 2018 PBS documentary, Betty White: First Lady of Television, (available on Netflix) Duncan credited White for his first big break. She was part of the board at the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association and regularly campaigned to raise more funds for the association. When she was encouraged to take him off because of the color of his skin, she politely declined. Simply put, if people like her hadnt raised their voices and resisted hatred and ignorance, our world wouldnt have been the same. Sometimes this involved putting her own reputation on the line, and still, she didnt back down. She also told her critics to "live with it.". He we as a tap dancer and singer who White was quite fond of and wanted to help him get more exposure. The legendary dancer discussed how Betty White gave him his first job on TV, even though the color of his skin was a real problem for some people. Well, Betty wrote back and said, Needless to say, we used Arthur Duncan every opportunity we could. She hired a Black tap dancer, Arthur Duncan, for "The Betty White Show" in 1954, a full three years before the first federal civil-rights legislation since Reconstruction was passed,. She just cared about giving people the respect they deserve. Betty White received criticism for having Duncan as a tap dancer in her own show The Betty White Show (1954). And he got his start in no small part thanks to Betty White. env: 'prod', White went on to game shows, the talk-show circuit and eventually mega-stardom as Rose Nylund on the 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls.. But just who is Arthur Duncan and why did his appearance on The Betty White Show cause such controversy at the time? Arthur Duncan (born September 25, 1933) is an American tap dancer, known for his stint as a performer on The Lawrence Welk Show from 1964 to 1982, which, along with his earlier inclusion (despite Southern objections) on the 1954 Betty White Show, made him the first African-American regular on variety television programs.Born in Pasadena, California, Duncan entered show business at age 13, when he was a member of a dance quartet that performed at McKinley Junior High School in Pasadena, California.He later entered Pasadena City College to study pharmacy, but left to pursue a career in show business, touring with The Jimmie Rodgers Show and The Betty White Show. pos: 'right_rail_1', A movie event planned prior to her death to . Arthur said, I was on the show, and they had some letters out of Mississippi and elsewhere that some of the stations would not carry the show if I was permitted to stay on there. Listen to Betty White. Arthur admits that Betty helped get him the kind of exposure that really launched his career. This is a tremendous loss," tap-dancing legend Arthur Duncan tells Rolling Stone. This, along with his earlier inclusion (despite objections) on The Betty White Show in 1954 and with the help of White herself, made him the first African-American regular on a . 1937) Elwood . It was the first award in an entirely new category. The almost-centenarian was an icon in every sense of the word: with a career spanning eighty years, she marked a turning point for women in entertainment. Its unclear whether her decision to keep Duncan affected the shows fate, but it was repeatedly rescheduled for different time slots before quietly being taken off the air that same year. baseDivId: 'pb-slot-right-1', According to the 2020 book Betty White on TV, the show failed to attract sponsors and was cancelled on Dec. 31, 1954 despite a desperate plea by White to NBC execs. Getty Images. Now she wants restitution. So the next time you blame someones bigotry on their times, remember Betty White. "I did something a little. Live with it. Then, she gave Duncan even more airtime when he appeared on the show twice more. . 2. Duncan looked at White and joked that his life was now complete. Snopes and the logo are registered service marks of, In the 1950s, Betty White was criticized for having Black tap dancer Arthur Duncan on her variety talk show, The Betty White Show., Image Via Film screenshot/Wikimedia Commons. She is older than Mickey Mouse. Betty White served as both host and producer. Duncan later toured with Bob Hope and appeared on The Lawrence Welk Show for nearly two decades. And it was never a question at all.. When Steve Harvey asked Arthur what it was like to see his old friend, he joked, Im ready to go now. But before God could take him, Arthur wanted to catch up with Betty first. At one point, the network threatened to take her off the air for having a Black man repeatedly appear on the show, but she wouldnt budge. What really defines Betty Whites legacy is her sheer willingness to go against the grain and subvert expectations. }); !function(n){if(!window.cnx){window.cnx={},window.cnx.cmd=[];var t=n.createElement('iframe');t.display='none',t.onload=function(){var n=t.contentWindow.document,c=n.createElement('script');c.src='//',c.setAttribute('async','1'),c.setAttribute('type','text/javascript'),n.body.appendChild(c)},n.head.appendChild(t)}}(document); This article was published more than1 year ago. Although NBC eventually canceled Whites show, Duncan had become a star. But this was 1954 and racial inequality was still rife. White's death, at the age of 99, was announced on Friday. she bluntly told those that brought the matter to her, reported PEOPLE. "In 1954, #BettyWhite was criticized after having Arthur Duncan, a Black tap dancer, on her show," The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center tweeted after her death. A colleague. The dancer, Arthur Duncan, was featured onThe Betty White Showthataired in the 1950s. The Inspiring Story Of Arthur Duncan, The First Black Regular On An American Variety Show. Live with it." She then gave Duncan even more airtime. Entrepreneurs Summit When The Betty White Show was rolled out on TV channels across the US, many stations and viewers in southern US states threatened to boycott the show unless Arthur Duncan was removed owing to the segregation laws and attitudes towards race that were prevalent at the time. ]); In 1954, #BettyWhite was criticized after having Arthur Duncan, a Black tap dancer, on her show. Duncan went on to have alustrouscareer inshow business and gained fame for being the first Black performer on The Lawrence Welk Show,according to The Library of Congress. divId: 'div-gpt-ad-rightrail-1', Betty didnt let her age hamper her ability to empathize with others, even if they were of a completely different background than her. Of course, the social media world is full of distortions and fabrications. I was on the show, and they had some letters out of Mississippi and elsewhere that some of the stations would not carry the show if I was permitted to stay on there, Duncan told Steve Harvey in 2018 ahead of a surprise TV reunion with White. ': Betty White's quips and quotes through the years. Throughout her life, she lent her support to myriad animal rights organizations, including the Los Angeles Zoo Commission, The Morris Animal Foundation, African Wildlife Foundation, and Actors and Others for Animals. Little Big Shots: Forever Young airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC. Given that White and Duncan both corroborated this story in the documentary, we rate this claim as True.. In response, Betty White famously said Im sorry. The first TV show I had ever been on, and I credit Betty White for really getting me started in show business, in television, he said. cat: 'entertainment', Steve Harvey also had Betty White come on to the show to reunite them. Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Duncan recalled the furor and the actor backing him during those testing times. Duncan credits White for starting his career. When Betty White was in her early 30s she landed her very own self-titled variety show. Duncan was later discovered by big band leaderLawrence Welk who invited him onto his ABC variety show. And by his 21st birthday, hed caught the eye of TV pioneer Betty White. The world is still mourning the immense loss of Betty White. She just stood up for her beliefs, said Duncan. Most incredibly, she was also a champion of LGBT equality. But even in California, Duncans regular presence on the show drew criticism. Betty White was in 'great spirits' while filming final TV appearance. targeting: { Subscribe to Newsletter Live with it." She then gave Duncan even more airtime. One particular way in which Ms. White refused to bow to systemic racism was by insisting Arthur Duncan, a Black dancer, remain on her 1950s show, The Betty White Show.. B.E. Bettys ninety-nine years on this planet is a testament to the tenacity of human kindness. Tap dancer & Singer Arthur Duncan performing "Sing You Sinners,Sing" (1954) Then, learn about the first African-American photographers and their portraits. Betty White, to put it simply, is a national treasure in the US. So it was a minor coup when Betty White got her own show in 1954 with full creative control. subcat: '', R.I.P. When Duncan told White, "I hope we have a chance to visit after this is over," she replied, "Oh, I hope so. Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or leave your comments below. Betty knew she wasnt some prominent politician or royalty she was merely a television actress but she was still extremely self-aware of her influence on the country. White hired Arthur Duncan as a dancer on her show. Have something to tell us about this article? Life With Elizabeth ran until 1955; during 1954, White simultaneously presented her own variety show, her second Betty White show. Arthur Duncan, the dancer in question, was a young man in his twenties, striving to make a mark in the industry. Watch clips and full episodes of Little Big Shots for free on Yahoo View. White had already spent years trying to break into film and TV and eventually managed to become a co-host of the Hollywood on Film talk show in 1949 and left only to launch her own company. -----#####Reelblack's mission is to educate, entertain, enlighten, and empower through Black film. A staff writer for All Thats Interesting, Marco Margaritoff has also published work at outlets including People, VICE, and Complex, covering everything from film to finance to technology. With Betty White's passing at the age of 99, this internet meme about White refusing to ban Arthur Duncan, an African American dancer, from the cast of her television variety show in 1954, is getting wide circulation. In 2010, the Forest Service made Betty White an honorary forest ranger. A long and successful career followed, including several film and TV appearances. In the 1950s, Betty White was criticized for having Black tap dancer Arthur Duncan on her variety talk show, "The Betty White Show." Rating: True About this rating Betty White, also. . Betty White, also known as the First Lady of Television, wore many hats, as a comedian, a talk show host, an actress, and more. Born on Sept. 25, 1933, in Pasadena, California, Arthur Duncan gravitated to the life of a performer from a very young age. White's team of talent included Black performer Arthur Duncan, who was about 21 at the time and looking for his big break. Reunited with White on "Little Big Shots," Duncan reignited trademark banter they used to have on her show. You never call, responded White. A tap dancer with remarkable skill, Arthur Duncan was the first African American to be hired as a series regular on the variety shows of early television. Let us not forget that in 1954 Betty White's show was canceled shortly after receiving backlash for her refusal to cancel Black tap dancer, Arthur Duncan. ]); Her show was cancelled afterwards. The comedian passed away on December 31, 2021, just weeks away from what would have been her 100th birthday. In 1954, Betty White rejected pressure to stop featuring tap dancer Arthur Duncan on her show because he was Black A file photo of Betty White. } 1 of 2. The 98-year-old actress is loved by almost all and has had an unbelievably successful career spanning more than eight decades. With substantial clout, she developed her own variety show in 1954 and wasted no time giving talented performers a shot. . 65 Backyard . 'The Betty White Show' saw her perform songs and entertain viewers with skits and interviews with guests. Duncan appeared on the show at least three times. 29K views 1 year ago Arthur Duncan (born September 25, 1933) is an American tap dancer, known for his stint as a performer on The Lawrence Welk Show from 1964 to 1982, which, along with his. She pledged her support for same-sex marriage, saying, If a couple has been together all that time and there are gay relationships that are more solid than some heterosexual ones I think its fine if they want to get married. Additionally, she didnt understand how some people could be anti-something. She was a proponent of minding her business, standing up for the oppressed, and carving her unique place in the culture through entertainment. Betty Marion White (January 17, 1922 - December 31, 2021) was an American actress and comedian. Randy Shropshire/Getty ImagesFrom left to right: Arthur Duncan, director Dean Hargrove, actor Norman LLoyd, and cinematographer Stephen Poster at a screening of Tap World in Los Angeles, California, in 2015. BE 100s It's been claimed that Duncan's fixed role on "The Betty White Show" as a singer and dancer meant he was the first Black American to have a regular appearance on a TV variety show. Today, many of us dont even comprehend the power she wielded, the significance she carried as the foremost Golden Girl of our zeitgeist, or how she unshakably fought to bring justice and diversity to our screens. Then, in 1964, he was scouted by Sam Lutz, the manager of The Lawrence Welk Show, and invited to come on as a guest. Twitter shares wild and wonderful stories about Betty White, who died Dec. 31, 2021. . In a 2018 documentary honoring Bettys illustrious career, Arthur said, I credit Betty White for really getting me started in show business, in television. Betty herself wasnt blind to the outrage, but she wouldnt let the commotion, or as she said, the ruckus sway her in the least. You dont need to be young or rich or particularly well-educated to treat someone with respect or compassion. Not only had she been one of the first women to helm her own show on television, but she also laid the groundwork for how women could assert their agency in a landscape that was still dismissive of their talent and power. page_type: 'article', 1995 - 2023 by Snopes Media Group Inc. Among her favorite guests was Arthur Duncan, an African-American musician from Pasadena, California, who briefly studied medicine before returning to his musical roots. There was never a question at all, said Arthur regarding Bettys insistence. So on her nationally televised The Betty White Show, she sang, interviewed guests, performed in skits and read the commercials live. Betty White, The Golden Girls and Hot in Cleveland Star, Dead at 99 During the Little Big Shots episode, Harvey surprised Duncan by bringing White on the show to catch up with her old. But there was never a question at all., I said, Im sorry, but, you know, he stays, she said. Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 3, 2022. aid: '769722', Sales Partnership Solutions But his first performance was more than enough for Southern racists to threaten NBC with a boycott if he continued to be part of the lineup. Not one to waste an opportunity, White immediately set about hiring Duncan to dance on The Betty White Show, which aired on NBC in Los Angeles. 4. When she was encouraged to take him offbecause of the color of his skin,she politely declined. We bring people together, change perceptions, and inspire actions that impact culture for good. Duncan, 88, was a regular featured performer on White's NBC variety talk show, The Betty White Show , in the . In 1954 Betty White had a talk show and faced criticism for including a black tap dancer, Arthur Duncan, on her show.Betty responded with Im sorry. White explained the controversy in the documentary, "All through the South there was this whole ruckus, they were going to take the show off the air if we didn't get rid of Arthur because he was Black," said White. She didnt have an idea of the extent to which it would enrage her market, yet the collective furor didnt crush her spirit or change her mind. Cindy Ord/Getty Betty White rejected. The comedian passed away on December 31, 2021, just weeks away from what would have been her 100th birthday. Your membership is the foundation of our sustainability and resilience. She also starred in and produced The Betty. . Racial justice wasnt the only focus of her activism, either.

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