Betty White’s children: did the actress have any kids of her own?

Betty White’s children: did the actress have any kids of her own?

Betty White was unarguably among the actresses with the longest careers in the entertainment industry. Up until her demise in December 2021, the iconic actress seemed to get more popular as she aged, while others typically began to fade into obscurity. Betty was renowned for her stellar performances in shows such as The Golden Girls, Hot in Cleveland, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. How many children did Betty White have? The story of Betty White's children is definitely less known than that of the prolific actress.

Betty White's children's names
White speaks onstage during the 70th Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Robyn Beck
Source: Getty Images

Did Betty White have any children? Well, the famous actress did not have biological children. However, she had three stepchildren from one of her three marriages.

Profile summary

Full nameBetty Marion White Ludden
Date of birth17 January 1922
Passed away on31 December 2021
Passed away aged99 years
Zodiac signCapricorn
Place of birthOak Park, Illinois, United States
Height in feet5’5”
Height in centimetres165
Weight in pounds143
Weight in kilograms65
Body measurements in inches38-32-38
Hair colourBlonde
Eye colourDark brown
ParentsHorace Logan White and Tess Curtis White
HusbandsAllen Ludden (m. 1963–1981)
Lane Allen (m. 1947–1949)
Barker (m. 1945–1945)
StepchildrenDavid Ludden, Martha Ludden, and Sarah Ludden
Alma materHorace Mann School, New York City
Net worth$75 Million

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Who are Betty White's children?

Here is a look at Betty White's children’s names and their details.

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David Ludden

David is the late actress's eldest stepchild. He was born to Margaret and Allen Ludden in 1948 before Allen's marriage to Betty. David leads a quiet, low-profile life as an Asian History professor at New York University.

Ludden got his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and has since won multiple awards for his accomplishments in the field of history. After graduating, David landed his first teaching role handling South Asian history, which he held until 2007.

Besides teaching, Ludden has also written several versions of a book known as India and South Asia: A Short History. He is a holder of the renowned Guggenheim Fellowship for Humanities Award.

Martha Ludden

Martha Ludden is probably the best known of Betty's step-kids. This is due to Martha and Betty's somewhat controversial relationship after the latter's marriage to Allen.

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Martha was born in 1950 and was quite young when her father married the famous actress. Reports have it that Martha did not take the news of her father's remarriage very well. Being a teen at the time, Martha is said to have harboured anger towards her stepmother and was quite clearly opposed to the marriage.

Additionally, Martha's relationship with her own father was also far from rosy. It is said that Allen would constantly argue with his daughter over her anger towards his new wife. The strained father-daughter relationship reportedly caused Allen inexplicable grief.

Martha Ludden got her Law Degree in 1990 and currently works with people with varying disabilities. With time, Betty White's relationship with her stepkids, and Martha in particular, did improve significantly.

Sarah Ludden

Betty White's relationship with stepkids
White attends The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's (GLAZA) 45th Annual Beastly Ball at the Los Angeles Zoo on June 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Amanda Edwards
Source: Getty Images

Sarah is the last born of Allen Ludden's children. She was born in 1952 and was less than ten years old when her mother passed on. Unlike Martha, Sarah and Betty had a great relationship. It is said that Sarah would even try to intervene when Betty and Martha argued.

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Sarah Ludden began her career as a dancer and audiologist but later transitioned to a career in the martial arts. She now runs a karate school called Thousand Waves which she co-founded with her business partner, Nancy Lanoue.

Who was Betty White's husband?

The actress was married three times. Here are details about Betty White's husbands.


Betty and Barker got married in 1945. The two met while Betty was working with the American Women's Voluntary Service. The two were engaged for most of World War II but did not last long after the war was over.

Betty's life was significantly different from that of Barker, a chicken farmer from Ohio. The marriage ended a short while after the end of World War II.

Lane Allen

The actress got married again in 1949, this time to Lane Allen. Her second husband wanted her to let go of her career and focus on raising a family. Betty was opposed to the stay-at-home idea. The marriage ended in 1951.

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Allen Ludden

Ludden and Betty met when the latter appeared on the renowned game show Password. Allen is said to have fallen in love with Betty when he saw her. At first, Betty resisted Ludden's advances since she did not see a future for herself in her then-current city, New York.

Two years after their first meeting, Betty and Ludden finally got married. Unfortunately, Betty's husband from her third marriage succumbed to a stomach ailment in 1981. Betty describes her 18-year marriage to Ludden as the best time of her life.

Why did Betty White never have children?

Betty White's kids
BONES: Guest star Betty White in the "The Final Chapter: The Radioactive Panthers in the Party" episode of BONES. Photo: FOX Image Collection
Source: Getty Images

The world-famous actress was well known for her decision to never have biological children.

Why did Betty White not have children? When asked about it, Betty said that her naturally compulsive nature would have made it quite difficult to focus on children and a career at the same time. She stated that had she gotten kids, they would have taken all her focus, making her abandon her career.

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However, the renowned actress says she got to enjoy being a mother to her three stepchildren from her third marriage. This, she said, did not interfere with her career in the way a pregnancy or infant would have.

Where was Betty White's funeral held?

The actress died peacefully in her sleep in Brentwood, California. The reason for her demise was announced as natural causes. The funeral arrangements were kept private to honour the late actress's wishes.

Who are Betty White's heirs?

Since the actress did not have any biological children of her own, and her husband Allen Ludden passed away about three decades ago, Betty does not have any legal heirs to inherit her. The details of the late actress's estate remain a mystery, though there are speculations that she left a large much of her property to the many animal charities she was involved with.

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Fun facts

Here are some interesting facts about Betty.

  • At 95, the actress still enjoyed having vodka and hot dogs.
  • Her very first Emmy Award nomination was for her role in Life with Elizabeth.
  • She holds the record for the oldest guest on Saturday Night Live.
  • She never had any acting lessons.
  • She once performed 58 live advertisements in a day
  • She originally wanted to be an opera singer, zookeeper, or park ranger.

Betty White's children are most certainly not as famous as their late stepmom. However, they seem to be doing well in the respective paths they chose to follow. Betty, on the other hand, had scaled the heights of the entertainment industry and will be dearly missed by her fans across the globe.

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