Trailblazing television icon Betty White was pronounced dead this morning in her home. She was 99 and merely weeks away from a milestone 100th birthday. TMZ was the first to break the news off of reports from local law enforcement. Only a few days ago, White spoke with People magazine about her upcoming birthday while also looking back on her career and life. Today, People has updated that story with heartfelt words from the people closest to her.
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” Betty White’s agent and close friend Jeff Witjas told People.
White told people before her death that the key to her long life is a positive attitude and learning when to cancel out the negative and focus on the good things in life.
“Just looking at the positive side and not dwelling on the downside,” White said. “Takes up too much energy being negative. Also, having a good agent who keeps me busy all the time.”
White’s career started back in 1939, making her career in television the longest one for a woman in history. After ten years in the business, White got her radio show, The Betty White Show, in 1949. That show was a variety program hosted by White, and in 1951 she received her first Emmy nomination for best actress. White would become one of the first women in television with complete creative control over a television program.
It would be another 20 years before White famously starred in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, where she won her first two Emmys for outstanding continuing performance by a supporting actress. Then in 1985, White would star as her most iconic character, Rose Nylund, in The Golden Girls, where she received even more awards and accolades. Her stardom only grew in the 21st century when she starred in Hot In Cleveland and continued to receive multiple lifetime achievement awards.
Authorities have not yet released a statement as to White’s exact cause of death, but the news itself has caused a public outcry on Twitter from fans of White.
Betty White passing away hurts. May our Golden Girl rest in eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/wkSJZcZMWA
— THEE Stephanie. (@qsteph) December 31, 2021
— CATHERINE CONSTANTINIDES (@ChangeAgentSA) December 31, 2021
Some big names in Hollywood have also taken to social media to express their admiration for White, and also their sadness about her passing. Celebrities such as George Takei (Star Trek, Hit Monkey), Ellen DeGeneres (The Ellen Show, Finding Nemo), Henry Winkler (Happy Days, Here Comes The Boom) and the Barstool Sports organization even made their own statement memorializing White.
This story will be continuously updated throughout the day.