Betty White, Iconic ‘Golden Girls’ Star, Dies At 99 Just Short Of 100th Birthday
Betty White, a cultural icon for producing decades worth of entertainment, has died at 99 – just weeks short of her 100th birthday. White was known for her roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the ’70s, The Golden Girls in the ’80s and in the last decade, Hot in Cleveland and her own reality show, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers.
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” her agent Jeff Witjas said in a statement, via PEOPLE. “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.”
She would have turned 100 on January 17. When People interviewed White on how she was feeling about her centennial birthday, she said she felt great and was lucky to be in good health. She felt a part of that should be credited to her mother for instilling a “cockeyed optimist” nature.
“I try to avoid anything green,” White jokingly added. “I think it’s working.”
White was born in 1922. She fell in love with acting after playing the lead role in a play she wrote as a high school senior, and she never really looked back. She began on local TV which eventually lead to an Emmy-award-winning sitcom, Life With Elizabeth, that she acted in and produced. She was a part of numerous other shows in the 50s and 60s, including Password, where she met her husband, Allen Ludden, who was the host of the show.
White paved a way for women in the entertainment industry. She fought for creative freedom both in front of and behind the camera. She also was a trailblazer in inclusive casting. As she grew older, she became known for speaking her mind and always maintaining a sharp sense of humor.
Last year, White was asked her secret to a long life.
“Just looking at the positive side and not dwelling on the downside,” she said. “Takes up too much energy being negative. Also having a good agent who keeps me busy all the time.”
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