Betty White, best known for her portrayal of Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls, has died, according to People. The iconic comedienne was 99, just weeks shy of celebrating her 100th birthday.
The Illinois born actress had an impressive television career that began over a half century ago, long before The Golden Girls. White had hilarious cameos on shows such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Love Boat, and The Bold and the Beautiful and even her own program, The Betty White Show. In more recent years, the actress appeared on series such as That 70’s Show and Hot in Cleveland as well and in comedic films like 2009’s The Proposal alongside Hollywood heavyweights Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. White received numerous accolades throughout her career including multiple Emmys, Screen Actor Guild Awards, and a Grammy, but above it all, she was known as one of the few defining comedic actresses from the 20th century who managed to capture the heart of audiences everywhere decade after decade.
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In 2014, White opened up about her time in Hollywood for Harper’s BAZAAR, writing, “I’m the luckiest old woman on the planet because I’m blessed with good health and energy. I don’t have any secrets for staying sprightly, but people just keep coming to me with great projects and I can’t say no.”
“People take a very dim view of aging not just in show business but in almost every business. They’re always looking for the young people coming up, which I understand,” continued White. “But make yourself as useful as possible so that they’ll find a place for you too! And don’t complain—try to accentuate the positive rather than the negative. If you’re complaining, you’re not fun to be around, and fun is the name of the game.”
White’s agent and close friend, Jeff Witjas, confirmed her death to People, writing 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.”
Just weeks before her passing, the actress opened up to People in an interview reflecting on her acting career and the prospect of turning 100 years old.
“I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age. It’s amazing,” said White at the time. “[I was] born a cockeyed optimist—I got it from my mom, and that never changed. I always find the positive [in life].”
This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US
- BETTY WHITE