On the morning of New Year’s Eve, the legendary actress Betty White passed away at her home. Betty wasn’t sick or dealing with any specific thing at the time. Her death was ruled from natural causes.
Friend and agent Jeff Witjas told PEOPLE: “Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever.”
“I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much. I don’t think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again,” Jeff made his comment.
Fans and celebrities flocked to pay their respects to the late actress as soon as the news broke.
Betty was born in Oak Park, IL, on January 17, 1922, and grew up in Los Angeles, where she attended UCLA. During the 1940s, Betty performed some modeling and got some work as a radio actress. After that, Betty hosted various programs on tv, which led to her first Emmy nomination in 1950.
When “Golden Girls” ended in 1992, Betty was the show’s final surviving cast member. She has also had a distinguished filmography, including roles in such films as “The Proposal” and “Toy Story 4.”
After a long hiatus from television, Betty returned in 2010 to star in the sitcom “Hot in Cleveland,” which she starred in for five seasons. She would have turned 100 on January 17.
Aside from “Life With Elizabeth” (1952-55), Betty appeared on other discussion and game shows throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
Sue Ann Nivens, the cunning, sweet as pie-but-stab-you-in-the-back Happy Homemaker on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” was Betty’s first role that gained her national notoriety in 1973.
Rose Nylund, Betty’s recurring character on “The Golden Girls,” was a far cry from Sue Ann. It’s safe to say that Rose, a native of the Minnesota town of St. Olaf, was charming, innocent, and more than a bit naive. She won Betty a second Emmy.
Following Betty appearances on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “The Proposal” and a Super Bowl ad for Snickers, she joined the cast of “Hot in Cleveland” in the fall of 2010.
Lately, Betty had been working less and appearing in one-off episodes of shows such as “Bones” or “SpongeBob SquarePants.” She had slowed down a bit in recent years.
“Toy Story 4” and its Disney+ spin-off series “Forkey Asks a Question” were her final projects. On stage, Betty went under the moniker of Bitey White, a play on words. She also provided her voice for the animated film “Trouble,” premiered in 2019.
Betty was married three times: to Army pilot Dick Barker in 1945, Hollywood agent Lane Allen from 1947—1949, and “Password” host Allen Ludden from 1963 until he died in 1981.
As a child, Betty was known for her love of animals. Animal welfare groups and zoos benefited greatly from the backing of the actress. In her book from 2011, Betty writing “If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t),” the animal advocate expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to combine two of her greatest loves: helping animals and working in the field of psychology. People might ignore Betty if she was working in a different area.
Kathy Griffin posted a lengthy tribute on Twitter, recalling meeting White during the star’s guest spot on “Suddenly Susan.”
“I had accidentally parked in her parking spot that day. She walks in, yells from the back of the soundstage for everyone to hear ‘Where’s that redheaded b—h who stole my parking spot???’ SWOON. A friendship was born.”
“So sad to hear about Betty White passing,” Reese Witherspoon tweeted. “I loved watching her characters that brought so much joy. Thank you, Betty, for making us all laugh!”