Actress Betty White passes away aged 99

The actress’ death comes only weeks before what would have been her 100th birthday

Beloved American TV and film actress Betty White has passed away at the age of 99, only days after saying it was “amazing” she was in “such good health.”

White passed away on Friday morning. The news was first reported by TMZ, citing law enforcement sources, and was quickly confirmed by White’s manager and friend Jeff Witjas in a statement to People magazine, saying he had thought the actress 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,” the statement read.

In an interview published earlier this week with People in celebration of her upcoming birthday on January 17, White commented that she was in “good health.”

“I'm so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age,” she said. “It’s amazing.” 

White, known for her edgy and sometimes blunt sense of humor, joked that she tried to avoid “anything green” in her diet.

Betty White was best known for her role on the long-running ‘Golden Girls’ sitcom, which ran from 1985 to 1992. She had some of her biggest career success in her later years following the series’ conclusion, appearing in hit shows like ‘Hot in Cleveland’ and films like ‘The Proposal.’

Her last acting work was in 2019. With 115 acting credits to her name, White's career dated back to the 1940s, where she began in radio, eventually moving herself into a successful television career, appearing on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ and ‘The Betty White Show,’ among others. She earned five Emmy Awards and was nominated over 20 times.

White’s 100th birthday was shaping up to be a major Hollywood event. Fathom Events previously announced plans to screen ‘Betty White: 100 Years Young’ on her birthday night across the US, featuring a range of well-known stars from Clint Eastwood to Tina Fey. The special celebrates best-of moments from the comedic actress’ career, as well as firsthand tales from White herself.

Many have taken to social media to mourn the Hollywood legend for both her professional work, as well as personal, including her activism on animal rights. 

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