Comedian and the award-winning actress Betty White, best known for her appearances in “The Golden Girls” died at the age of 99.
On Jan. 17, White died in LA, almost 3 weeks prior to her 100th birthday.
Her agent, Jeff Witjas, confirmed her death to ABC News on Friday.
“Betty has had a fantastic life and career and she was one of the positive people I know,” Witjas said in a statement. “I know that she is thrilled to be reunited with her [late husband] Allen Ludden.”
President Biden also tweeted on the sad news, saying that “Betty White brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans. She’s a cultural icon who will be sorely missed. Jill and I are thinking of her family and all those who loved her this New Year’s Eve.”
White, best remembered for her appearances in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Golden Girls,” charmed viewers for decades.
In 1995, she was added into the Hall of Fame, and on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she has a star. As an homage, memorial flowers were to be put on the star.
In an interview published previously this month, White told People magazine that one of her keys to ageing gracefully has been to keep her sense of optimism.
On a lighter note, she said another reason is adhering to a certain diet: “I try to avoid anything green. I think it’s working.”
“I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age,” she told the magazine. “It’s amazing.”
The Guinness Book of World Records named White in 2013 as the female performer with the longest television career.
Her most recent appearances are in “Hot in Cleveland” and presenting “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers,” a practical jokes programme.
White garnered 23 Emmy nominations and had won six throughout his more than 75-year career. She held the record for being the oldest Emmy nominee overall, with her most recent nomination coming in 2012 at the age of 90.
Betty Marion White was born in Oak Park, Illinois, and relocated to Los Angeles with her parents when she was two years old. She started her career as a singer and voice actor on the radio.
Her big break on television came in 1949 when she co-hosted “Hollywood on Television,” a daily live variety programme. Based on one of the show’s routines, White and two colleagues created “Life with Elizabeth,” a comedy in which she portrayed the main character. The programme helped White’s career tremendously, and she went on to become one of Hollywood’s first female producers.
Betty White went on to star in a number of additional sitcoms, late-night talk programmes, and daytime game shows. White met her third husband, presenter Allen Ludden, during a 1961 performance on the game programme “Password.”
White, who had previously had two short marriages, first rejected Ludden’s proposal. Ludden died because of stomach cancer in 1981, after being married for 18 years. “Once you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?” White once said to Larry King.
White was a stepmother to Ludden’s children, although she never had her own children. She was well-known for her animal-related work. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she previously stated: “I’m actually the luckiest old broad alive. Half my life is working in a profession I love and the other half is working with animals.”
White’s career took off in the 1970s through “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Playing the character, White revealed a keen wit beneath her lovely smile. In contrast, her character in the 1980s smash comedy “The Golden Girls,” which she co-starred in with Estelle Getty, Bea Aurthur, and Rue McClanahan was “terminally naïve.”
Her career saw a comeback in the 2000s, with White acting in “The Bold and the Beautiful” and also co-starring in “The Proposal” with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. In 2010, White had become the oldest host of “Saturday Night Live”, after a huge Facebook campaign titled “Betty White to Host SNL (Please).”
Almost Two years later, icons from cinema and television came to honour White’s 90th birthday, including Ellen DeGeneres, Mary Tyler Moore, Tina Fey and Carl Reiner.