In heartbreaking news, Betty White has died at the age of 99 on December 31. The legendary actress, beloved for her comedic chops and animal-rights activism, passed away at her home, according to Deadline. “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.”
The icon, who was only three weeks away from being a centenarian on January 17, has had the longest television career of a female entertainer. Although she has an incredible film and TV resume, she is probably best known for her roles as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and as Rose Nylund in The Golden Girls.
As news spread of Betty’s death, Hollywood began pouring in their tributes. Ellen DeGeneres was one of the first to take to social media with a special message, tweeting, “What an exceptional life. I’m grateful for every second I got to spend with Betty White. Sending love to her family, friends, and all of us.”
What an exceptional life.
I’m grateful for every second I got to spend with Betty White.
Sending love to her family, friends and all of us.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 31, 2021
Henry Winkler gave a touching tribute, saying it was “very hard to absorb you are not here anymore.” He then thanked her for her “humor, warmth, and activism.” George Takei, like many others, called Betty a “national treasure.” “Our Sue Ann Nivens, our beloved Rose Nylund, has joined the heavens to delight the stars with her inimitable style, humor, and charm. A great loss to us all. We shall miss her dearly,” he posted.
Betty White : I is very hard to absorb you are not here anymore.. But the memories of your deLIGHT
are ..Thank you for yur humor , your warmth and your activism ..
Rest now and say Hi to Bill
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) December 31, 2021
Our national treasure, Betty White, has passed just before her 100th birthday. Our Sue Ann Nivens, our beloved Rose Nylund, has joined the heavens to delight the stars with her inimitable style, humor, and charm. A great loss to us all. We shall miss her dearly.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 31, 2021
President Joe Biden gave a heartfelt message, as he was quoted saying, “That’s a shame. She was a lovely lady. … 99 years old. As my mother would say, God love her.” From one icon to another, William Shatner tweeted, “I loved her comedic wit and endearing charm. She definitely was a sweetheart to the world and a gift to the entertainment world. “
.@POTUS, on the death of Betty White: "That's a shame. She was a lovely lady. … 99 years old. As my mother would say, God love her."
— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) December 31, 2021
Saddened to hear that @BettyMWhite has passed. I loved her comedic wit and endearing charm. She definitely was a sweetheart to the world and a gift to the entertainment world. 😔
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 31, 2021
Jamie Lee Curtis shared a photo from a cover shoot for AARP titled “What Women Want” with Betty and Kristen Bell, captioning it, “What women WANT is to live a life like Betty White. Full of love and creativity and integrity and humor and dedication and a life of service to animals. To honor her today please make a donation to the @morrisanimalfoundation Morris Animal Foundation or any animal advocacy group! She would LOVE that. Rest easy you beautiful woman. We will carry on for you!”
Mario Lopez, Piers Morgan and Patricia Arquette all expressed their sorrow upon hearing the news, while Seth Myers shared a hilarious anecdote about Betty. “RIP Betty White, the only SNL host I ever saw get a standing ovation at the after party. A party at which she ordered a vodka and a hotdog and stayed til the bitter end.”
— Mario Lopez (@mariolopezviva) December 31, 2021
Oh no. Just before her 100th birthday – how sad. https://t.co/CH02xVKWZB
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 31, 2021
RIP Betty White, the only SNL host I ever saw get a standing ovation at the after party. A party at which she ordered a vodka and a hotdog and stayed til the bitter end.
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) December 31, 2021
“I can’t stop crying,” tweeted Nancy Sinatra. “Godspeed, Betty White, you will be remembered and treasured forever.” Dan Rather called Betty a “spirit of goodness and hope,” while suggesting our world “would be better if more followed her example.” Alongside a snap of Betty talking to Joan Rivers on a late night show, Melissa Rivers gushed, “Betty White could land a joke and take a joke like no one else in the business. She was smart, beautiful and hilarious all rolled into one. RIP to a tremendous star.”
A spirit of goodness and hope. Betty White was much beloved because of who she was, and how she embraced a life well lived. Her smile. Her sense of humor. Her basic decency. Our world would be better if more followed her example. It is diminished with her passing.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) December 31, 2021
See more reactions, below.
This is so sad!!!!! pic.twitter.com/kywHIAUOzA
— Caroline Manzo (@CarolineManzo) December 31, 2021
1) Betty White. Where do I begin? I’ve known her long, but I think the first time I met her was when she was a guest star on Suddenly Susan in the late 90s. Everyone was very excited she was on the show. I had accidentally parked in her parking spot that day. She walks in…
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) December 31, 2021