Actress Betty White, whose many TV roles included domestic guru Sue-Ann Nivens on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in the 1970s, was honored by the Los Angeles Zoo Monday for her commitment to animals.
The zoo made the Emmy-winning star an Ambassador to the Animals at a ceremony attended by about 50 people, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
A bronze plaque will be placed next to the zoo's gorilla exhibit, home to White's favorite animal. "Betty has such a big heart and a beautiful spirit. She is a 'Golden Girl' in every sense of the word," Villaraigosa said, referring to White's former TV series, which ran from 1985 to 1992.
White, 84, joked that the honor would make her "tough to live with from now on."
"I'm not sure what I'm going to do asambassador except to love the animals as I have all my life," shesaid.
White has served for more than threedecades on the Morris Animal Foundation and the board of theGreater Los Angeles Zoo Association, and has been a zoocommissioner for eight years. She also has written twoanimal-related books and received the Humane Award from theAmerican Veterinary Medical Association.
"She's the real deal," said MadelineBernstein, president of the Society for the Prevention of Crueltyto Animals-Los Angeles.
White has earned six Emmys during a TVcareer spanning more than 50 years. She was inducted into theTelevision Hall of Fame in 1995 and has a star on the HollywoodWalk of Fame.