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From 'Hot in Cleveland' to when she lived in Ohio, Betty White was beloved by the Buckeye State

In 1945, White moved to Belle Center, Ohio, with her first husband.

BELLE CENTER, Ohio — On Friday, the world was shocked to learn that beloved "Golden Girls" actress Betty White had passed away at the age of 99, just weeks shy of her 100th birthday on Jan. 17. 

White, considered by many a comedic-icon for her roles in movies and television such as "Golden Girls," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," and "The Proposal," was also loved deeply by the Buckeye State and Northeast Ohio in particular. 

Many know that the actor starred as Elka Ostrovsky in TV Land's "Hot in Cleveland" from 2010 to 2015, but it's less well known that White actually lived in Ohio at one point in her life! 

The actor spent four months living in Belle Center, Ohio, living on a chicken farm with her first husband in 1945. White, who was married three times, first wed Dick Barker in 1945 before divorcing that same year.

Ever the animal lover, the realities of having to help run a farm with Barker's family were more than she could handle.

"It was during World War II and I met this P-38 pilot, which was terribly romantic, and we were going to live just up the coast from Los Angeles. He didn’t tell me he got mustered out, so instead of going up to our apartment in Santa Maria, we had to drive to Belle Center, Ohio, a town of 800 people. Belle Center was a chicken farm. We were living with his mom and dad, and they would send me out to kill a chicken to bring it in for dinner. I said, 'No way!'" White told Newsweek during an interview. "That was a real trauma because I’m such an animal nut. I couldn’t hack it, so I split and came back to California. We were married eight months, and it was a very bad mistake early on." 

After her brief interlude in Ohio, White returned to Los Angeles and to the career the country knew and loved her for.

She would later marry two more times. Her second wedding was agent Lane Allen in 1947, which ended in divorce two years later. Her third and final husband was Allen Ludden, a game show host, widower, and father of three, who she married in 1963. The two were still together when Ludden passed away in 1981.

Despite her less than pleasant early experience with the Buckeye State, White would later return to Ohio- sort of- in her hit show "Hot in Cleveland," alongside Wendy Malick, Jane Leeves, and Valerie Bertinelli.

In 2012, White confessed her love for Cleveland's football team in a TV Land promo, congratulating the New York Giants on their Super Bowl win. 

"Congratulations [New York] Giants, enjoy it while you can," White says in the video. "Because next year, my Cleveland Browns are going all the way. What? I can dream, can't I?"


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