Betty White, a television legend best known for her role of Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls,” died at the age of 99 on Friday, December 31, 2021, TMZ is reporting. According to Variety, White was discovered dead at her home at 9:30 am. White was married three times throughout her life but was single at the time of her death. She leaves behind her three stepchildren from her marriage with Allen Ludden — Sarah, Martha, and David Ludden.
An outpouring of loving remembrances for the beloved actor, who would have turned 100 on January 17, 2022, began immediately following the news. White’s 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.”
Scores of fans adored Betty White’s work from her early days on “Date with the Angels” to her recent voiceover work in “Toy Story 4.” White was a legend by any measure, so let’s look back at her singularly stellar life and career.
Betty White influenced generations of actors
Betty White was born on January 17, 1922 in Oak Park, Illinois. Her parents moved to Los Angeles in the midst of the Great Depression, and with this proximity, White racked up roles in adulthood. She obtained numerous parts on TV shows and in films, eventually landing the lead role in “Life with Elizabeth,” which ran from 1953 to 1955. She went on to star in prominent roles on some of the biggest shows of all time, like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Mama’s Family,” and “The Golden Girls.”
In addition to acting, White was a devoted animal lover. She worked with Wildlife Waystation and the Los Angeles SPCA for decades, and she went on to found her own relief effort — the Betty White Wildlife Rapid Response Fund — which is dedicated to protecting animals impacted during natural disasters. By all metrics, the actress lived an exemplary life. When asked by People about the secret that kept her going all those years, she responded, “A sense of humor. Don’t take yourself too seriously. You can lie to others — not that I would — but you cannot lie to yourself.”
Those are true words to live by. Hollywood has truly lost one of the greats.