White saw in Caroline's love for Neal, the love that she had for her late husband, Allen Ludden.
Betty White has given us a lot of memorable performances in her long career of over eight decades. Even before she became a household name with Golden Girls and Hot In Cleaveland, she had become a TV staple. White even acted in various films, including TV films like Chance of a Lifetime, Stealing Christmas, Annie's Point, The Lost Valentine among others.
She has played the role of the widowed old lady a lot and in some of the films, she finds love after experiencing loss. In her real life, White was married three times. She divorced her first two husbands after she wanted to build a career. She married Allen Ludden, television host and personality, in 1963. They were married for nearly 20 years before Ludden died of cancer. She did not remarry. When asked why she did not get married again she had stated, "Once you've had the best, who needs the rest?" and added, "I made two mistakes before Allen, but the love of your life doesn't come along in every life, so I am very grateful that I found him."
So when she was given the script for the 2011 Hallmark film, The Lost Valentine, she saw herself in the character she was asked to play. Based on the novel by James Michael Pratt of the same name, the film follows a journalist Susan Allison (Jennifer Love Hewitt) working on a feature story about Caroline Thomas (White), whose husband, Lt. Neil Thomas went MIA during World War II. She helps Caroline find the truth about her husband's unexplained disappearance 60 years ago. In the process, Susan learns about what true love is and how it stands the test of time and distance.
"When I read the script, I was hooked. I had to do the movie," White said about the film in an interview. "It was such a beautiful love story. When you’ve had a love like that in your life, it’s an awful temptation to revisit it. My beloved Allen Ludden and I had a very special, special love, as do Neal and Caroline in the film." Having always wanted to star in a Hallmark Hall of Fame film, it just looked like the perfect opportunity. She got a chance to step out of her comfort zone and thought the role was "a challenge" and added, "but it was a lovely opportunity to let your heart show a little bit."
The film is emotional and will tug at your heartstrings. White's performance is memorable and the last scene will surely make you weep like a baby as well. At the time of its release, it became the most-watched Hallmark Hall of Fame movie in four years. Regarding her central part in the film, she had said, “It’s wonderful to be able to represent something you believe in so whole-heartedly yourself. The economic downturn has not been kind to seniors. We have to remember not to panic and just take every positive step we can. I think sometimes we get so busy talking about the negatives, we forget to appreciate the good stuff in life."