The third season of US sitcom Hot in Cleveland - which stars White as the mischievous Elka Ostrovsky - is currently airing in the UK on Sony Entertainment Television, so Digital Spy had the chance to chat with Betty about the show, her amazing career and who *really* tells dirty jokes on the Cleveland set...
You originally signed on for the Hot in Cleveland pilot as a guest star. Did you ever expect to be with the show for four seasons?
"Absolutely not, because I only agreed to do the pilot if it was a one shot - that I wouldn't be involved with the show if it went on. Not that I didn't love the show, but my schedule was too full.
"You do a lot of pilots that never get picked up, but we were picked up in three weeks and they came back and asked if I would do some more and I said, 'No, that wasn't the deal'. They said, 'Well, how about doing just a couple more?' and because I am such a jellyfish, I said, 'Okay', and I've been there ever since and having a wonderful time."
Are you pleased that the show now has a following in the UK?
"Oh, I'm thrilled. we are just delighted and of course having Jane Leeves on the show... she's the most thrilled of all."
We spoke to Jane a while back and she told us you always tell dirty jokes on set...
"Well, let's say we get a little bawdy sometimes, lets put it that way! Valerie Bertinelli (Melanie) is the one who brings in the little corkers and she tells them so funny, and of course we all crack up! But then you look at each other - maybe hours later or days later - and make eye contact and you're gone. You've got the giggles so bad!
"But you only do that if you love each other, you don't do that if there's tension. I'm so thrilled to luck in to another group of women after seven wonderful years with the Golden Girls and with the Mary Tyler Moore cast. How lucky can one person be, to get another whole wonderful family?"
Some people have said Hot in Cleveland is like a modern-day Golden Girls - do you think that's right?
"Well, I think it's because of the numbers that people will compare them - it's four women, so the comparison is a natural one. But I don't think the characters match so well, I think it's just the gender orientation."
Your NBC prank show Off Their Rockers has also been picked up for a second season...
"Oh well, that's the silliest thing in the world, but we're having a good time. I'm on my way there to work today. It makes no sense, but if we keep our sense of humour, we have fun!"
You're in the running for two more Emmys this year - you've won seven in the past and been nominated over 20 times. Do you still get excited by awards?
"Well, it's an ego trip, I realise that, but I never can take it for granted. I get so excited when that call comes in that I've been nominated - I fly through the day. It's really a thrill."
Are you surprised at the following you have with younger people, like with the Saturday Night Live hosting campaign?
"Oh, we had such a good time on that one. Again, I said no - they had asked me to host the show many years ago, three times, and I had turned it down because I am so California orientated and it's so New York. I thought, 'Oh my Lord, I'll never be able to fit in, I'll be like a fish out of water'.
"But [SNL creator] Lorne Michaels got these wonderful women together to help, to support and be with me, and we really had such a good time."
There's also a campaign to get you on The Big Bang Theory...
"The what theory? The big band? Oh Big Bang - no, I haven't been [asked]. So far I haven't had a big bang! (Laughs)"
Is there any TV show you would love to appear in?
"Not really, 'cause I've been so lucky, but there are a couple of people... there's one particularly that I've never met that I would be thrilled to meet and that's Meryl Streep - I'm such a fan! I finally got to meet Tina Fey, and that was a big thrill 'cause I think she's one of the best in the business. But I just worship Meryl Streep from afar."
You've had such an amazing career - what have stood out for you as some of the highlights?
"Oh, well, I've been in the business for 63 years so it's kind of hard, but I'd say Golden Girls and of course The Mary Tyler Moore Show and I'm having such fun on Hot in Cleveland now. I just can't believe that I'm 90 and still this lucky!"
Hot in Cleveland airs on Sony Entertainment Television (Sky 157 / Virgin 193) on Fridays at 8.30pm.