Betty White Best Known For Her Role In Golden Girls Dead At 99

Betty White Best Known For Her Role In Golden Girls Dead At 99
Comedian and actor, Betty White has died at 99 years. (Image: AP)

Betty White, comedian and actor best known for her decades-long career in the entertainment industry and roles in sitcoms The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, has died aged 99 weeks before her 100th birthday.

White’s agent, Jeff Witjas, confirmed her death to The Associated Press.

“I truly never thought she was going to pass away,” Witjas told the outlet. “She meant the world to me as a friend. She was the most positive person I’ve ever known.”

Witjas also said White had been staying close to her Los Angeles home during the pandemic out of caution but had no diagnosed illness. It was unclear if she died Thursday night or Friday, he said.

Emergency responders, including police, showed up at her home Friday morning as a standard procedure.

White was best known for two characters: The first was Sue Ann Nivens from the Mary Tyler Moore Show. White called the character “your sickeningly sweet neighborhood nymphomaniac.” And then there was the naïve Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls, whose greatest disappointment was losing her hometown’s Butter Queen pageant due to “churn tampering.”

White, TV’s Golden Girl, was a pioneer of early television and had a career spanning over nine decades, working longer in that medium than anyone else in the television industry.

She also had her own series, Life with Elizabeth, in 1952, and later appeared in Boston Legal, which ran between 2004 to 2008. She has been inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.

Born in Oakland, Illinois, in 1922, White began her career in 1939 singing an abridged version of Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow on an experimental television transmission. After the second world war, during which she worked with the American Women’s Voluntary Service, White found work appearing on radio shows such as The Great Gildersleeve, and provided voiceovers for radio commercials.

Later, she was a regular on Hollywood on Television, a daily five-hour live variety show, in 1949.

Throughout the 1960s and early ’70s, White was a regular on TV, hosting coverage of the annual Tournament of Rose Parade and appearing on game shows like Match Game and Password. She married Allen Ludden, host of Password, in 1963.

In 2010,white was in her late 80s when she did a commercial for Snickers during that year’s Super Bowl. In it, White is playing some rough and tumble football with the guys. She’s a mess on the field; she misses a throw and makes a rude remark about her opponent’s girlfriend.

“Mike, you’re playing like Betty White out there,” jeered one of his chums. White, flat on the ground and covered in mud, fired back, “That’s not what your girlfriend said!”

The commercial helped her launch her most recent success, and it showed that people of all ages seemed to be wild about White. In fact, she got the gig hosting Saturday Night Live because of her younger fans, who launched a Facebook campaign called “Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!” to get her on the show.

A month later, cable’s TV Land premiered “Hot In Cleveland,” the network’s first original scripted series, which starred Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick as three past-their-prime show-biz veterans who move to Cleveland to escape the youth obsession of Hollywood. They move into a home being looked after by an elderly Polish widow — a character, played by White, who was meant to appear only in the pilot episode.

Following her death, a number of celebrities and politicians have shared their tributes to the star with U.S president, Joe Biden tweeting: “Betty White brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans. She’s a cultural icon who will be sorely missed. Jill and I are thinking of her family and all those who loved her this New Year’s Eve.”

“We loved Betty White,” first lady Jill Biden said as she and President Joe Biden left a restaurant in Wilmington, Delaware. Added the president: “Ninety-nine years old. As my mother would say, ‘God love her.’”

Ryan Reynolds, who starred alongside her in the comedy “The Proposal,” tweeted. “The world looks different now. She was great at defying expectation. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty.”

Star Trek star George Takei also paid his tribute writing on twitter: “Our national treasure, Betty White, has passed just before her 100th birthday,” he wrote. “Our Sue Ann Nivens, our beloved Rose Nylund, has joined the heavens to delight the stars with her inimitable style, humour, and charm. A great loss to us all. We shall miss her dearly.” The actor added that everyone should raise a toast to White when midnight strikes.

Oprah Winfrey said she was “celebrating 99 years of your love on the planet”.

White was set to celebrate her 100th birthday on January 17, 2022, and had tweeted just days ago about her appearance on the cover of People magazine to mark the occasion.

On the cover of the magazine, she is quoted as saying: “Funny never gets old.”

Moses Aine

Reporter, The Postdale Daily

Latest from Celebrity News