America’s Golden Girl, Betty White, has died, just weeks before her 100th birthday. Betty passed peacefully at her home, her agent Jeff Witjas confirmed.
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” her agent Jeff Witjas told People 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.”
The Los Angeles Police Department told E! News they responded to a death investigation at White’s home at 9:30 a.m. Friday.
They suspect her death is “a natural death investigation” no foul play was suspected.
TMZ reported White had not been in ill health in the days leading up to her death, but rarely left her home since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020.
She tweeted on Dec. 28 about her milestone birthday. “My 100th birthday… I cannot believe it is coming up,” she shared alongside a magazine cover she did with People. The issue featuring White hit newsstands on Dec. 29.
— Betty White (@BettyMWhite) December 28, 2021
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White received a standing ovation during an appearance at the 2018 Primetime Emmy awards, as she joked about her longevity.
“Somebody said something the other day about the ‘First Lady of Television’ and I took it as a big compliment,” she told fellow stars and millions of TV viewers. “Then I heard her talking to her daughter a little later and she said … ‘She’s that old, she was the first one, way, way back.'”
Even at 97, White remained an active force in show business, lending her voice to 2019’s “Toy Story 4” as the teething toy “Bitey White” and 2019’s “Trouble,” as the wealthy dog owner Sarah Vanderwhoozie. That year, she also embraced her “B-Dawg” alter ego for an NBC “Sunday Night Football” promo.
Not only was it a long and great career, it was a career that inspired an almost unprecedented level of affection from all age groups. In her late 80s, she won a Teen Choice Award for the 2009 Sandra Bullock-Ryan Reynolds film, “The Proposal,” and became the beneficiary of a youth-driven Internet campaign that made her, at 88, the oldest host of Saturday Night Live. Her long advocacy for animals only made her more beloved by fans.
The secret of White’s appeal lay in her ability to convey an incredible, but never cloying, sweetness while also being able to project an equally incredible level of sexual voraciousness. For most of her career, she bounced between the two extremes, but sometimes she combined them — and every time, in every role, there was something knowing behind the eyes that belied the innocence of the smile.
CNN: Here’s a look back at key moments from White‘s career.
1940s – Has roles on several popular radio shows, including “Rin-Tin-Tin,” “This is Your FBI” and “The Great Gildersleeve.”
1949 – Lands her first role on television on “Hollywood on Television,” a live daily show.
1975 – Wins Emmy Award for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
1976 – Wins Emmy Award for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
1985-1992 – Plays Rose Nyland on “The Golden Girls.”
1986 – Wins Emmy for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series for “The Golden Girls.”
1995 – Is inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
1996 – Wins Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for “The John Larroquette Show.”
Jan. 23, 2010 – Is presented with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.
May 8, 2010 – Hosts “Saturday Night Live.”
Aug. 21, 2010 – Wins a Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, for her guest host spot on “Saturday Night Live.”
2010-2015 – Plays Elka Ostrovsky on “Hot in Cleveland.”
Feb. 12, 2012 – Wins Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Story Telling) for “If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t).”
Dec. 2013 – Earns the Guinness World Record for Longest TV Career for a female entertainer (74 years).
April 26, 2015 – Receives a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.
Read more about White here.
Actress Betty White died after suffering a stroke six days prior, according to her death certificate.
The official cause of death listed on the Los Angeles County document obtained by CNN is a cerebrovascular accident, the medical term for a stroke when blood flow to the brain is blocked causing impairment due to lack of oxygen. Continue reading on CNN