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Betty White Is Fearless

How 92-year old Betty White leads a golden movement for women over 50 in Hollywood.

Live from Studio City! It’s…” 92-year-old Betty White?

I made some popcorn and flipped on TV Land to watch the much-anticipated live premiere of the very funny Hot in Cleveland’s fifth season last week. There she was, the sassy White deadpanning to Alex Trebek, “We got this,” dismissing him from the stage. Of the four roommates on the show, the other three of which are decades younger and from LA, White plays the one with the most zingers. She cuts down the women for their dating, tiny bra size and plastic surgery addiction.

And they love it. “They” could mean both her on-air roommates and the audience, with equal vigor.

Women over 50 are enjoying a hot moment in entertainment this week, with White clearly leading the pack. Although they must get a kick out of being the “much younger” friends on Hot in Cleveland, the show also stars Valerie Bertinelli (53), Jane Leeves (52) and Wendie Malik (63). Adventure, martinis and men (so many men) ensue.

Also making news: Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin’s new show on Netflix. The online-only service that brought us the groundbreaking House of Cards and Orange is the New Black has green-lighted the ladies’ show, Grace and Frankie in the hopes that it will be its Next Big Thing. It couldn’t come out fast enough, if you ask me.

Or do you prefer non-fiction? The documentary Anita is just out, too. Anita Hill, who famously went up against the then Supreme Court justice nominee Clarence Thomas during the televised US Senate hearings, has been leading a quiet, successful life in academia since giving her legendary testimony in 1991. Although Thomas ultimately won his spot on the Court, Hill’s bravery in bringing to light his alleged inappropriate sexual advances in the workplace changed our nation’s viewpoint of sexual harassment forever. It became the movement’s tipping point and this powerful documentary is the first time she’s talked on film of her 1991 ordeal.

It was a good week to be a talented older woman in the limelight. A good week, indeed.

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