Betty White Has Died
Golden Girls star and national treasure Betty White has passed away. She was just shy of her 100th birthday, which would have been on Jan. 17, 2022. White was most well-known for her role as Rose Nylund, though more recent credits include Hot in Cleveland and 2009's The Proposal. According to White, the secret to her longevity was being "born a cockeyed optimist," a trait that she attributes to her mother.
"I try to avoid anything green. I think it's working," she told People recently.
"Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever," her agent and friend Jeff Witjas told 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."
White earned seven Emmy Awards during her long career. Her more recognizable TV credits started in the '70s with The Mary Tyler Moore Show, though her time in the industry began much earlier in 1949, with her first sitcom, the nationally syndicated Life with Elizabeth. More recently, she debuted a TV show on NBC, Betty White's Off Their Rockers, and earned another Emmy nomination for Hot in Cleveland.
Throughout her career, she was nominated for 21 Primetime Emmys, with five total wins, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
White was also known for her work with animal charities. According to Smithsonian Magazine, White served as a trustee of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. She has also worked with the Morris Animal Foundation and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles.
"In addition to her legendary status as an actress, comedian, and producer, Betty White demonstrated a lifelong commitment to helping animals in need, including dedicated support for local shelters and animal welfare endeavors, fiercely promoting and protecting animal interests in her entertainment projects, and personally adopting many rescued animals, Matt Bershadker, ASPCA president and CEO, said via email. "Betty was a constant and compassionate advocate for vulnerable animals across the country, and will be greatly missed. We send our condolences to her friends and family."
Her famous friends paid tribute to her on Twitter today after the news broke. Even the U.S. Army offered a memorial photo, as White served as part of the American Women's Voluntary Services during WWII.
As she reflected on her upcoming 100th birthday, White spoke about how important it was for her to remain positive and upbeat, telling her fans (and people everywhere) that making the most of every day was what was most important to her.
"You better realize how good life is while it's happening," White told People in 1999. "Because before you know it, it will all be gone."