Betty White Dead At 99: ‘Golden Girls’ Actress Dies Weeks Before 100th Birthday

Hollywood has lost one of the greats. Betty White has died at the age of 99, right as she was about to celebrate her birthday. Here's what we know.

Today, friends, family, and fans of Betty White, are mourning the death of the actress, who sadly passed away, first reported by TMZ. Her death was later confirmed by Deadline, who reported that she died peacefully Thursday (Dec. 30) night in her home. “Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” her agent, Jeff Witjas, said in a statement. “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.”

Betty’s death comes weeks before she would have turned 100 (January 17). Her last tweets were in honor of the upcoming milestone. “My 100th birthday… I cannot believe it is coming up,” she tweeted while promoting a special interview with People magazine. She also promoted Betty White: 100 Years Young, a theatrical event that was going to be a star-studded celebration that included, Ryan Reynolds, Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Lin Manuel- Miranda, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Jay Leno, Carol Burnett, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel, Valerie Bertinelli, James Corden, Wendie Malick, and Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Betty Marion White Ludden was born on January 17, 1922, had the longest television career of a female entertainer; she was also the first woman to produce a sitcom. Often referred to as a “pioneer” in the entertainment industry, White was a legendary actress and comedian. With a career that spanned over 75 years, White has earned five Emmys, two Daytime Emmys, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the list goes on. White also had her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, awarded to her in 1988.

Betty White attends the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 64th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2012 (Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

Although her career has lasted over seven decades, White is best known for her role as Rose Nyland in the hit sitcom, The Golden Girls and her role as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. However, her most recent regular role included TV Land’s Hot In Cleveland. Betty also made appearances on NBC’s Crowded and Fox’s Bones. She even hosted Saturday Night Live in 2010. Aside from her professional work, Betty spent most of her time committed to animal health advocacy. She has been recognized for her close relationship with the Los Angeles Zoo.

Back in Jan. 2017, Betty sat down with Katie Couric, just after her 95th birthday, to discuss life advice. “I seriously can’t believe it. I keep thinking, ‘Betty, you’re 95 years old,'” she said. “I’m so blessed with good health, and I’ve got memories and all that; you can’t expect that at 95. I am the luckiest old broad on two feet.” Betty also revealed that she concentrated on keeping busy, while enjoying and indulging in things she was interested in.

Betty White speaks on stage at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2018 (Phil McCarten/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

In her lifetime, Betty married three times —  U.S. Army Corps pilot Dick Barker [1945]; Hollywood agent Lane Allen [1947-1949]; Then, Betty married for the third and last time in 1963 to television host Allen Ludden. The pair were happily married until Ludden’s death from stomach cancer in 1981. She never remarried after his death. Betty is survived by her three stepchildren, who are from Ludden’s first marriage.

Our thoughts are with Betty’s loved ones during this difficult time.

HollywoodLife will continue to update this post with further information as it is made available.

 

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