Thursday, July 5, 2018

Celebrities You Can Be Proud to Be a Fan Of

Everyday we read, or watch, the news. Every single day there’s another shooting, or a group being discriminated against, or a child screaming for his mother. Political discourse has turned into political war. Religion and atheism are both demonized… even science is facing a battle on the perception of reality.

It’s rough.

In times like these, entertainment is even more important than usual. The problem is that even our entertainment news is filled with horrific gossip or the outing of another sexual predator.

Now, Trust the Dice will never peddle in gossip. We don’t want to destroy the lives of our artists. These people are responsible for giving us a break from the world, or offering us a new perspective on it, through their projects. They speak to our fantasies and allow us to learn to dream. For the most part, that means I don’t give a fuck who they are as people. However, there’s nothing worse – as a fan – than adoring the hell out of someone and then finding out they are a bullshit rapist that needs a swift punch to the face.

I’m ashamed to say I used to watch the Cosby Show. That’s a part of my childhood that’s just destroyed. Luckily, my mom and I bonded over many other shows as well – but some people may have only had that. Bill Cosby hurt a lot of women, but he also let down so many others that it’s ridiculous.

Our entertainers have a responsibility to the world. They have influence… and how they use that influence MATTERS.

As bad as it feels to know you were once a fan of someone who wasn’t worthy of it, that’s how good it feels when you realize another of your favorites is actually a great person when the cameras are off.

In a break from the horrific news out there, we’re going to be concentrating on some people in the entertainment industry that you can be proud to be a fan of. You can hold your head high and know that these people have used their influence for good. You can watch their films/channels, or listen to their music, knowing that the money they get from it will go to something that will help the world and make us realize that there is some faith in humanity left.

Pretty much everyone is familiar with the work of Oprah, or the general over-all awesomeness of Tom Hanks and Keanu Reeves. Plenty of people are also in the know about Zach Galifianakis and his friendship with the elderly homeless woman he took under his wing. I want to concentrate on other people. People with good deeds that aren’t as well-known. I’m not just interested in donations to charity, either (though I’ll go into some of that as well). The people I list below have done more than just slipped an organization some money. They’ve sacrificed or given their time to a cause.

And time is worth so much more than money.

Although this list is in countdown order, that does not mean that Trust the Dice places more value on some kinds of good than others. There is some consideration to the ordering, but mostly it’s based on how well-known the story is. We attempted to stay away from people with confirmed sexual misconduct or scandal issues, which is why you may only see one person of the two involved in something.

20 – Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters: No Way Back, The Muppets, Drunk History) is often considered one of the nicest guys in musical entertainment. He’s been good to his fans and he regularly plays at charity events.

A huge amount of Grohl’s time is spent on charity. He gives money, too, but it’s time I really care about.

Aside from charity concerts such as the Autism Speaks’ BlueJean Ball and Teenage Cancer Trust, he’s also done such things as reading books to kids and donating signed memorabilia in order to raise funds for various causes.

Grohl has also been known to protest the Westboro Baptisthate group. (I will not call that crap a church anymore.) 

Dave Grohl is known to have supported at least 15 charities with monetary donations, including: Live Earth, Milk+Bookies, White Knot for Equality, Worldwide Orphans Foundation, and ACLU of Southern California. 

19 – Drake

I was a fan of Degrassi: The Next Generation (2001-2009) back in the day, so Drake (Ice Age: Continental Drift, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Drake: Started From the Bottom) will forever be Jimmy to me. That said, he’s doing the rap game proud. His music certainly isn’t the worst out there, but I’m more concerned with what he’s done with his celebrity status.

He’s not as big on charity as most people on this list, but he has some seriously set rules that he holds his fans by, and that’s a BIG deal in the rap community.

In November of 2017, Drake was performing in Australia and saw a man in the audience touching some of his female fans. Drake stopped the show and immediately called the man out, threating to ‘fuck him up’ if he didn’t stop. 

This shouldn’t have been a big deal, because saying something in that situation SHOULD be the norm – but it’s not. So, when someone influential steps up and makes sure others see his example, that’s something that needs to be acknowledged and supported.

Drake is known to have supported at least 1 charity with monetary donations, including: THORN. 

18 – John Cena

This amusing WWE superstar is pretty well-known for his work with the Make-A-Wish foundation. It would be easy to create a list of kids he’s helped during his days working with the charity. Very easy, in fact… because he’s a record holder.

That’s where the ‘less-known’ part comes in. In 2015 John Cena (Blockers, Ferdinand, Psych: The Movie) granted his record-breaking 500th wish for the foundation. The amount of time and energy that goes into granting those wishes during his already very limited free time is astronomical.

I don’t know how many more he’s fulfilled since 2015, but I know he never stopped… so his number is ever growing.

John Cena is known to have supported at least 2 charities with monetary donations, including: Kids Wish Network and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

17 – Robert Downey Jr.

I know about Robert Downey Jr.’s (Chef, Due Date, The Avengers) past and I can’t even tell you how little I care. That said, I don’t think there was nearly enough attention paid to that time he visited a kid as his Tony Stark persona in order to give him a bionic arm. I mean, are you kidding me? That must have been the coolest day of that kid’s life. Not only did he get to meet Downey Jr., but he also got to start learning how to use his brand-new arm!

That’s not the only time Downey Jr. has donated his time to a cause. He also raised over £1 million while raffling away a chance to spend time with him on the red carpet for the premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron. That money went to Julie’s House, a children’s hospice in the UK.

Our pasts shape us, but they do not define us. No one proves that quite as much as Robert Downey Jr. does.

Robert Downey Jr. is known to have supported at least 15 charities with monetary donations, including: ALS Association, Make-A-Wish Foundation, March of Dimes, Stand Up to Cancer, and Melanoma Research Alliance.

16 – Benedict Cumberbatch

We’re going to see a lot of people that have done huge things. And where Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Doctor Strange, Zoolander 2) is a strong supporter of equal pay for men and women in Hollywood – to the point of expressing the idea that he would not accept an acting job where the pay was lopsided – that’s not what we’re going to talk about here.

Sometimes bringing hope to the world is about affect a single person.

Last November, while Cumberbatch was in a car in London, he saw a delivery boy getting mugged. Although simply calling for help would have been fine, he proceeded to jump out of the car and pull the attackers off the cyclist. He then fought with the criminals until his driver jumped out to help him and they ran off.

This story did get picked up by the media, for about a minute, this past June. It didn’t get nearly as much attention as it should have, and only months after it occurred, likely because of the way Cumberbatch looks at it. When asked why he did it, he always just responds that he had to… and then refuses any more questions.

He saved a man because he didn’t see another option and THAT is beautiful.

Benedict Cumberbatch is known to have supported at least 11 charities with monetary donations, including: Save the Children, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Dramatic Needs, and the Children Defense Fund. 

15 – Nicki Minaj

Whether you like or hate Nicki Minaj (Steven Universe, A Magical Holiday, Barbershop: The Next Cut), you have to acknowledge that she’s accomplished quite a bit.

She’s done a lot of performing for charity shows, such as the VH1 Divas Salute the Troops concert. She’s raised a ton of money and donated tracks to charity albums. What caught my eye is a little more personal, though.

I went to college and earned a Bachelor’s degree. Although I use what I learned in my fictional writing, I can’t do what I was initially supposed to.

When I left college, I wanted to go to work at the morgue. My mentor was a forensic dentist and I was all set up to get a glowing recommendation from him. I went to his lectures, he introduced me to influential anthropologists, and he brought me into the morgue to work alongside a group of other forensic dentists from time to time. I had shit grades, but enough real-life experience that I would have been able to get a foothold.

The first body I saw in the morgue was an infant and it fucked me up. I tried to keep on the same path for a while, but that child was always in my mind and I wasn’t really able to move passed it. I decided, after graduation, that I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t be able to see that again, it would break me. I was able to handle the rest of it, but that was my limit.

So, I’ve got a dusty diploma and nothing but a few realistically written death scenes and a huge amount of student loan debt to show for it.

What does that bullshit have to do with Nicki Minaj?

Minaj was contacted by one of her fans on Twitter who was jokingly asking for tuition money. She tweeted back that she’d pay if proof of straight A’s could be provided.

A bunch of fans showed her proof and she came through big time. She donated over $18k to students that contacted her for help and promised to start a charity to help others in the same way.

Underneath the controversy and big… hair, Minaj has a huge heart to match.

Nicki Minaj is known to have supported at least 3 charities with monetary donations, including: Get Schooled Foundation, Red Cross, and Save the Music Foundation.

14 – Mark Edward Fischbach/Sean William McLoughlin

YouTubers have been getting a bad reputation lately. The media is quick to jump on any of them that do dumb or bad things, but they refuse to acknowledge that not all YouTubers are like the dickwad brother (Jake and Logan Paul). In fact, a lot of YouTubers are doing great and important things.

Mark Fischbach (Markiplier’s December Charity Livestream: Toys for Tots, Smosh: The Movie, Who Killed Markiplier?) – aka. Markiplier – and Sean McLoughlin (Bendy and the Ink Machine, Late Late Show, Cringemas) – Jacksepticeye – are gamers that have spent a HUGE amount of time working with charities to raise money. They also constantly reach out to their fans in order to make them smile.

Roughly once a month they both do charity live streams that last upward of eight to nine hours, and longer charity streams can be expected around special occasions. Although I can’t find an exact number, I can tell you that they have collectively raised millions of dollars for charity through their streams on Twitch and YouTube. A holiday stream in 2016 that included both of them raised upwards of $1 million alone… and there’ve been many more since then.

Aside from that, Markiplier does a lot of work with the Make-A-Wish foundation and was named the Make-A-Wish Celebrity of the year once. Jacksepticeye spends a lot of time showcasing games meant to speak out about depression and when Logan Paul made that incredibly disgusting video in the suicide forest, Jacksepticeye responded by doing a live stream that raised over $200k for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Although they usually work alone, the two do occasionally team up and, when they do, the result is magical.

As for the argument on whether or not they’re celebrities? They have over 19 million subscribers each. I’m going to go with ‘yes.’

Markiplier and Jacksepticeye are known to have supported at least 15 charities, collectively, with monetary donations, including: Gates Foundation, Save the Children, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, AbleGamers, Environmental Defense Fund, and Cancer Research Institute.

13 – Robin Williams

Robin Williams’ (The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, The Crazy Ones, The Face of Love) charity work was really very well-know. He performed on USO tours and at charity gatherings. He donated loads of money and helped raise even more. He even did a lot of work with Make-A-Wish and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – going out of his way to visit sick kids whenever possible

The part that people might not know, is the kind of stuff he did for his friends.

He had a close friendship with Christopher Reeve (Speechless, Above Suspicion, Superman). After Reeve was paralyzed, Robin Williams went to visit him in the hospital. At the worst moment, when nerves were running the highest, Williams pranced right in – dressed as a doctor – and started a routine about being a proctologist there for Reeve’s exam.

And that’s not the only time he went full-on Patch Adams, either.

When Sharon Osbourne (Jake and the Never Land Pirates, It’s a Boy Girl Thing, Austin Powers in Goldmember) was diagnosed with cancer and had given up, he went right into her room and climbed into bed with her. By the time he left, she was laughing and ready to get back to the fight. 

Williams shared himself with the people in his life and the people who’s lives he’d touched. His soul lives on in the people that knew him.

Robin Williams is known to have supported at least 36 charities with monetary donations, including: Doctors Without Borders, YMCA, Keep Memory Alive, American Foundation for AIDS Research, and Dogs Deserve Better. 

12 – Ian Somerhalder

You know Ian Somerhalder, most likely, from The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017). He’s been pretty big on TV since the early 2000s, though, so you could really know him from any number of other shows as well.

He has a certain look about him, however, and that can lead people to write him off as just being the same kind of person as the characters he plays. That said, he’s actually incredibly active in charitable ways.

Did you know that he has a strong urge to protect animals and the environment?

Somerhalder founded the IS Foundation in 2010. 

The foundation is dedicated to viewing humanity as part of the environment instead of as a separate entity. It’s been at the helm of the creation of an animal sanctuary and a grant fund for animals in shelters. Somerhalder has also personally rescued various animals and has testifiedagainst elephant poaching in congress.

He is a great friend to animals of all shapes and sizes.

Ian Somerhalder is known to have supported at least 12 charities with monetary donations, including: Alzheimer’s Association, Teen Cancer America, The Humane Society, United Nations Development Programme, and Elton John AIDS Foundation. 

11 – Eddie Redmayne

You can probably tell from Eddie Redmayne’s [ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Danish Girl, Jupiter Ascending, Les Miserables) filmography that he’s a huge supporter of the LGBTQ community. His work in that community, specifically in helping transgender youth, is enough for him to make this list – but it’s well-known. His name is almost synonymous with it.

So, what else is there?

Redmayne spoke to GQ in 2016 and explained that he knew he had it easier than most when he got into acting after college, because there was always money available for him. As a result, as he rose in popularity, he decided to occasionally pay the rent of fans that were in drama school trying to break into the business. 

That’s right, Redmayne has gone out of his way to pay rent for people he’s never met so that they can try to fulfill their dreams without helplessly treading water – especially in places like New York where the rent of a studio apartment in only a decent neighborhood (not even a good one) can range around $3k per month.

One assumes he has some kind of proof that they’re actually drama students and that they meet some kind of GPA requirement – or at least, one hopes.

Eddie Redmayne is known to have supported at least 9 charities with monetary donations, including: Epilepsy Action, March of Dimes, International Medical Corps, Teenage Cancer Trust, and Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation. 

10 – Dwayne Johnson

Who doesn’t love The Rock (Ballers, Rampage, Baywatch)? Seriously. There’s always something small and awesome coming out about what he’s done for friends, family, or perfect strangers. Anyone see that video of him dressed as a giant Pikachu for his kid? That’s some wholesome shit, right there. I recommend it.

He’s done a ton of stuff for fans, like becoming ordained in order to surprise a YouTuber by officiating his wedding. He’s also been a huge member of the Make-A-Wish community. Cena might be beating him for the record, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t spend a huge amount of time making his fans at the foundation smile

On top of all that, there’s the Dwayne Johnson ROCKFoundation. It utilizes physical fitness and education to help protect the health and smiles of kids all around the world. 

The Rock is just a national treasure and no one will ever convince me otherwise.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is known to have supported at least 12 charities with monetary donations, including: I Have a Dream Foundation, Make the Difference Network, Parkinson Society Maritime Region, Starlight Children’s Foundation, and Red Cross.

9 – Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Red State) is a polarizing figure in the entertainment industry. Between his raunchy films and that time he told big Hollywood to basically fuck off at Sundance 2011, people have varying perspectives on him.

Personally, I think that’s all a reason to love him – especially considering everything that’s come out about big Hollywood lately. But I’m biased. I enjoy a little bit of chaos in my awesome.

What he’s listed here for is how he reacted to the news when Harvey Weinstein was outed as the douche-king of entertainment.

If you’re familiar with Smith, then you know that – in his early career – he put out quite a few films with the Weinstein Company.

When the truth came out, he immediately told his fans on Twitter that he was ashamed to have ever been connected with Weinstein. On his next podcast he spoke about how no movie was worth what Weinstein did and that he was ashamed he’d ever been one of the voices supporting him. He then pledged to take any future residuals from his films produced by the Weinstein Company (which is all of them before 2008, except for Mallrats), and immediately donate it to the Woman in Film charity.

Smith’s mistake was created without his knowledge, he had no idea who Harvey was behind closed doors. You want to believe you’d know if it was you, but chances are, you wouldn’t. Psychopaths know how to disguise their crimes to people outside the know.

People make mistakes. It’s about how they fix them that really matters and Smith put his money where his mouth is. That’s rare.

Kevin Smith is known to have supported at least 5 charities with monetary donations, including: The Wayne Foundation, Rape Abuse & Incest National Network, Declare Yourself, Food Bank for New York City, and The Lunchbox Fund. 

8 – Ryan Gosling

There’s not just one thing involved in Ryan Gosling (Crazy Stupid Love, Drive, The Notebook) being on this list, but a bunch of little things.

Once, Gosling ran into some girl scouts selling theircookies and opted to buy them out. Every. Single. Box. He then went around just giving people boxes of girl scout cookies. As a former scout, myself, this amuses me greatly. And he probably made those girl’s day. There were some cool prizes for selling those cookies.

Another time, Gosling was credited for saving a woman frombeing hit by a New York taxi. Let me tell you, I absolutely believe that taxi would have hit her. Yellow cabs are fucking crazy over here. I saw one drive on the sidewalk once. Aside from that, though, there was the time he was recorded stopping a fight in themiddle of the street

Then there was the time Hurricane Katrina pretty much sank the south and he just decided to load up his car with supplies, quietly drive down to Mississippi and help rebuild a monastery. No fan-fare at all.

That’s what really gets me with Gosling. Everything he does, he does quietly. He doesn’t post about it on social media or get the media involved… he does it because he believes he should. He’s just a genuinely good guy who gives a fuck.

And if he saves anymore people in NY I’m going to pitch a super hero to Marvel based on him. Maybe he’ll be part of the Defenders.

Ryan Gosling is known to have supported at least 8 charities with monetary donations, including: Mercy for Animals, Invisible Children, ONE Campaign, ENOUGH Project, and The Art of Elysium.

7 – Jennifer Hudson

Hudson has had a hell of a life. I hold a special place in my heart for people who have been through the kind of shit she’s been through but still have enough hope left to give some to others. That’s not an easy thing to accomplish.

Jennifer Hudson’s family was brutally murdered in 2008. That’s rough for anyone to come back from, but Hudson did it with incredible heart. She took part in the creation of a new charity, the Hudson-King Foundation for Families of Slain Victims.

The charity is pretty self-explanatory by its name. It helps the families of murder victims get back on their feet – a subject that must be painful for Hudson.

Her activism doesn’t end there, though.

Hudson has also performed at events like Hope for Haiti and the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh’s Pride in the Street. She’s done her best to better a world that must seem even darker to her than most. That’s always worth acknowledging.

Jennifer Hudson is known to have supported at least 28 charities with monetary donations, including: Save the Music Foundation, The Rainforest Foundation, Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and Make-A-Wish Foundation. 

6 – Kristen Bell

Very few people don’t know about Kristen Bell’s [ The Good Place, A Bad Moms Christmas, The Disaster Artist) call to a young girl with a brain tumor while in-character as Anna from Frozen. In the same tone, people are likely familiar with her actions during HurricaneIrma. During that hurricane, she took in Josh Gad’s family – who were stranded without shelter – and entertained a hotel full of elderly that had been evacuated from their homes for their safety. 

Bell is known for those small acts of kindness that mean the world to the recipients. But she’s more than a few good deeds.

In 2015, Bell joined up with the ‘This Close’ campaign in order to spread the word about vaccines and how important they are to Polio eradication. Poliomyelitis is a crippling and often-fatal disease that infects the brain and spinal cord. It was once very prevalent, but as vaccines were developed the likelihood of contracting it has become near non-existent in most countries.

Bell will undoubtedly be involved in doing even more good as time goes on, keep an eye on her.

Also, watch the video of Dax Shepard (CHIPS, The Boss, Parenthood) giving her a chance to meet a sloth. That should put a smile on your face during a gloomy day.

Kristen Bell is known to have supported at least 23 charities with monetary donations, including: The Humane Society, Alcheimer’s Association, UNICEF, ASPCA, and Invisible Children. 

5 – John Legend

After researching John Legend (La La Land, Crow: The Legend, Soul Men), I have to wonder if he’s actually the most charitable celebrity of his age range. He and his wife, Chrissy Teigen (The Mindy Project, Inside Amy Schumer, Need for Speed: The Run), have two children that I know of, and I’m not sure how they found the time to do that with the sheer amount of charity work he does.

He appears at charity concerts, records music for charity albums, auctions himself off, creates events… it’s absolutely insane how much he does. So, I figure if I don’t focus on just one thing, I’ll be writing this article for the rest of my life and then I won’t meet my deadline.

What I’m going to concentrate on here is his work with the Show Me Campaign.

Through the Show Me Campaign, Legend is involved in Teach for All/Teach for America. The charity is dedicated to finding teachers interested in confronting ‘educational inequity.’ Legend focuses on the Springfield City School District and the Harlem VillageAcademies

His passion for education, and ensuring that there is equality within education, is incredibly inspiring.

John Legend is known to have supported at least 46 charities with monetary donations, including: Malaria No More, THORN, Feeding America, Global Poverty Project, and War Child. 

4 – Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron (Monster, Atomic Blonde, Tully) was born in South Africa. It’s safe to say that she had a drastically different upbringing that the majority of the other people on this list. Different country, different laws, different challenges. It’s impossible for me to accurately judge much of what she’s done because of that, but there are a few things that can’t really get lost in translation.

In 1999, Charlize Theron took a stand against rape in her home country. The ad she put out wasn’t even a full minute long but was banned because of how ‘controversial’ it was. The slogan was “Real Men Don’t Rape.” After watching the video a few times, I still don’t understand the points raised against it, but I do know it takes courage to put out an ad like that in a place that would deem the idea of standing against rape as a controversy to begin with.

Her activist work doesn’t stop there.

Theron received the title of ‘United Nations Messenger ofPeace’ in November of 2008. Before that, she created the Africa Outreach project – a charity designated to helping find a better life for ‘impoverished children’ in South Africa. 

When it comes down to it, Theron has dedicated her life to helping fight domestic violence, rape, and the abuse of children. Somewhere in the middle of all that, she managed to become an Oscar-winning-level actress.

Charlize Theron is known to have supported at least 36 charities with monetary donations, including: American Stroke Association, Food Bank for New York City, YouthAIDS, Nelson Mandela’s Children Fund, and Dogs Deserve Better. 

3 – Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher (That 70s Show, Annie, Jobs) seems like such a spaz, doesn’t he? The majority of his parts see him acting like a moron that’s just kind of accidentally funny. He’s done some dramatic parts that showcase his acting ability, but for the most part – it’s the comedy life for Kutcher.

He’s pranked his fellow actors, portrayed himself as a burnout, and otherwise just shown himself in the public eye as a goofy guy.

Do you know how surprised I was when I learned that he was one of the founders of THORN, a charity geared toward ending child trafficking and catching pedophiles? 

That’s no laughing matter at all.

THORN has impact reports starting in 2015 and those reports highlight the tools and projects THORN has been utilizing to help law enforcement find victims and shut-down predators. The entire thing is incredibly impressive and immediately altered my perception of Kutcher.

It’s not nearly as widely reported as I think it should be. 

Ashton Kutcher is known to have supported at least 17 charities with monetary donations, including: Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, Declare Yourself, and UNICEF. 

2 – Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg (Catch Me If You Can, Jurassic Park, Minority Report) is arguably one of the most famous directors of our time. You might have known that he’s also very big on charity. He’s put out PSAs meant to support military families, donated a huge amount of money, and has worked with Make-A-Wish. But it’s his work dealing with the subject of the Holocaust that I’m really focusing on here.

Did you know that Spielberg outright refused a salary for making Schindler’s List (1993)? He decided that the story was way too important for him to focus on the money that could be made from it. Not to mention that he actively referred to any money he might have made from it as ‘blood money.’ 

What about that money, though? The ‘blood money’? After all Schindler’s List was a huge success.

Well, he took all that money and pumped it into creating a charity called the Shoah Foundation, which is all about honoring and remembering the survivors of the Holocaust. 

He continues to put money and effort into the Shoah Foundation, while still offering charity elsewhere. He is definitely one of the good ones.

Steven Spielberg is known to have supported at least 14 charities with monetary donations, including: Bush Clinton Katrina Fund, Righteous Persons Foundation, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, American Humane Association, and Healthy Child Healthy World. 

1 – Betty White

Who doesn’t love our resident grandma of entertainment? Her mere existence is a shining beacon of hope for humanity.

Betty White has been acting since the golden age of Hollywood. You can see clips of her young and in black and white. In fact, she’s a world record holder. She holds the record for Longest TV Career for anEntertainer (Female). If the category wasn’t split between males and females, she’d still either have the longest TV career overall, or be tied for it – since she and the male winner of the title both began in 1939. It would come down to the day.

Her rise to stardom would have been quick and unstoppable… except she put a stop to it herself.

When World War II hit, White decided that it was more important to get involved than to concentrate on her own rising career.

Back then, women were limited in how deeply involved they could get. Still, White joined the American Women’s Voluntary Services (AWVS). It’s difficult to tell just how much this impacted her career. It wasn’t like joining the National Guard. Instead, AWVS was considered an alarmist group that was blowing the whole ‘Nazi’ thing out of proportion.

Regardless of how it affected her at first, though, I imagine people were grateful for the group when Pearl Harbor occurred and the AWVS was already 18,000 members strong and ready to get to work on providing services and support to the nation.

White spent that time delivering supplies and helping send off US soldiers… just generally doing her part. She was a national hero along with the rest of the people involved in the organization.

Betty White is known to have supported at least 26 charities with monetary donations, including: GLAAD, Red Cross, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Autism Speaks, and PAWS/LA. 

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