Vale: Betty White

Legendary US star best known for The Golden Girls has died, just shy of her 100th birthday.

Legendary US star Betty White, best known for The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Hot in Cleveland, has died, aged 99.

She was due to celebrate her 100th birthday on January 17.

Variety reports LA Police responded to a death investigation on Friday morning.

Agent and close friend Jeff Witjas said in a statement, “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.”

White enjoyed a career in entertainment for more than 90 years. She was just eight years old when she made her radio debut in 1930, later working as a radio personality in Los Angeles. After making the transition to television, she became a staple panelist of American game shows, including Password, Match Game, Tattletales, To Tell the Truth, The Hollywood Squares, and The $25,000 Pyramid; dubbed “the first lady of game shows”. She became the first woman to receive the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host for the show Just Men! in 1983.

She played Sue-Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show from 1973–77. The character of the Happy Homemaker, who always had sex on the brain, was an instant success and brought her back-to-back Emmys as supporting actress in 1974 and 1975.

Later, The Betty White Show debuted in 1977 but was cancelled after half a season.

From 1985–92 she played Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls alongside Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty, and Rue McClanahan, followed by spinoff The Golden Palace. Rose was originally supposed to be played by Rue McClanahan, whereas Blanche Devereaux, one of Rose’s roommates, was to be played by White. However, Jay Sandrich, the director of the show, suggested that Betty and Rue switch parts.

Froom 2006 – 2009 on The Bold and the Beautiful she played Ann Douglas then in 2010, White took on the role of Elka Ostrovsky the house caretaker on Hot in Cleveland along with Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick. It ran for 6 seasons.

But there were also endless credits including The Sonny and Cher Show, The Eddie Albert Show, The Carol Burnett Show, Petticoat Junction, Santa Barbara, The Love Boat, Who’s the Boss?, Fame, Ellery Queen, Mama’s Family, St. Elsewhere, Hotel, That ’70s Show, The Practice, Boston Legal, Ugly Betty, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Suddenly Susan, Bob, Maybe This Time, Everwood, Malcolm in the Middle, My Name is Earl, Community, Bones, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Soul Man and in 2010 she became the oldest person ever to host Saturday Night Live.

Film credits include Advise & Consent, Hard Rain, The Story of Us, Bringing Down the House, Holy Man, Lake Placid, The Proposal, Toy Story 4, Tom Sawyer, and Trouble.

White received eight Emmy Awards in various categories, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy Award.  She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was a 1985 Television Hall of Fame inductee.

There were also stage productions such as “Brigadoon,” “Any Wednesday” and “Guys and Dolls” notably alongside Password host, Alan Ludden.

White was also an animal welfare advocate, who worked organisations including the Los Angeles Zoo Commission, The Morris Animal Foundation, African Wildlife Foundation, and Actors & Others for Animals.

January was set to see the release of Betty White: 100 Years Young – A Birthday Celebration, with tributes from 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, Wendy Malick, and Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Updated: Betty White’s death was caused by a stroke she suffered six days before she died, according to her death certificate.

Source: Variety, Wikipedia

18 Responses

  1. Betty White also starred in her own sit-com in the 1950s, called Life with Elizabeth. It was one of a handful of I Love Lucy clones that rarely, if ever, saw the light of day here. They are all available to watch on Tubi. I haven’t seen them yet, but will get around to it, especially now. R.I.P Betty White. Legend.

  2. what a loss, never took herself too seriously & able to laugh at herself right till the end. I’ll imagine her as Rose Nylund enjoying some cheesecake up there with the other Golden Girls

  3. Oh no,this is such sad news,and a terrible way to bring in the new year.

    Betty White was a true pioneer of television.She had the longest running career of anyone in television history,and she was probably the most beloved tv performer of all time as well.

    What can you say that hasn’t already been said?She was a true legend,and she will be missed so very much.

    Rest In Peace,Betty,

  4. This was such sad news to wake up to this morning. The passing of a true legend.
    However, I’ve since spent much of this wet new year’s day in Brisbane chuckling away at The Golden Girls on Disney+.
    Betty may be gone, but her legacy lives on.

  5. She brought a smile and laugh to everyone in anything she did. I used to race home from school to catch the last 5 minutes of The Golden Girls when it was on Ch7, 3pm in the 90’s.

  6. Betty White was a talented actress. 😭 What a shame to not make 100. In the Simpsons I couldn’t understand why one episode Betty didn’t like Homer then her next appearance she acted friendly towards him.

  7. What a true entertainer and classy lady. She gave us so many laughs and I still watch the Golden Girls on repeat to this day. It’s a timeless show and she brings so much to it. Thank you Betty for all the laughs and tears.

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