Emmy award-winning actress, Betty White, has died at age 99. Just three weeks short of her 100th birthday, the comedienne narrowly missed the milestone. Her cause of death has not yet been released, however, her agents confirmed the sad news to People.
Betty Marion White was born on January 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois. White’s family moved to Los Angeles during the Great Depression, where she attended Beverly Hills High School.
White started her entertainment career in radio in the late 1930s and by 1939 had made her TV debut singing on an experimental channel in Los Angeles.
Best known for her portrayal of Sue Ann Nivens in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Rose Nyland in the 1980s hit sitcom The Golden Girls, White was an award winner and a star who pushed the norms of Hollywood.
For her portrayal of Sue Ann Nivens in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, White won two Emmy’s for best supporting actress, in 1975, and 1976.
Ten years after her second Emmy, White won a third for her portrayal of Rose Nyland in The Golden Girls. The Golden Girls works to break down stigmas around many societal norms, however, was predominantly an oddball in the American television scope, as it focused on four middle-aged women living in a share house, in Mimi, Florida.
Remaining employed, and successful, well into her 40s, 50s and up until her early 90s. White’s final venture was as Elka Ostrovsky in TV Land sitcom Hot In Cleveland, where White played a character older, but similar to her famous Rose Nyland.
Also featuring in smaller, comedy roles into her later years, White appeared in The Proposal, a Sandra Bullock film, and a Snickers advertisement. White also hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live, America’s foremost variety entertainment programme, in which she starred in every skit that evening, and for which, she won another Emmy award.
Speaking on her career longevity and overwhelming good health, White shared:
“It’s incredible that I’m still in this business and that you are still putting up with me,” White said in an appearance at the 2018 Emmy Awards ceremony, where she was honoured for her long career.
“It’s incredible that you can stay in a career this long and still have people put up with you. I wish they did that at home.”
“Who would ever dream that I would not only be this healthy, but still be invited to work?” White said in a 2015 interview with Oprah Winfrey.
“That’s the privilege … to still have jobs to do is such a privilege.”
Ever the funny one, White was often asked if, after such a long career, there was anything she still wanted to do. To this, her standard response was: “Robert Redford.”
Vale, Betty White.
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.
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 31, 2021
When midnight strikes tonight, let us all raise a toast to Betty.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 31, 2021
Betty White : I is very hard to absorb you are not here anymore.. But the memories of your deLIGHT
are ..Thank you for yur humor , your warmth and your activism ..
Rest now and say Hi to Bill
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) December 31, 2021