In a year we all hoped would turn out better than the debacle that was 2020, the final day of 2021 has delivered its final blow: legendary actress and comedienne Betty White has died at age 99.
That sound you hear is an entire nation collectively wailing, “Noooooooo!”
White was just weeks shy of her Jan. 17th centennial birthday—in fact, she’s on the cover of this week’s People magazine talking about that upcoming milestone—and she tweeted about it just three days ago.
— Betty White (@BettyMWhite) December 28, 2021
White’s agent and friend Jeff Witjas told People Magazine in a statement Friday: “Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever.”
Same, Jeff. Same.
White’s entertainment career spanned nine (NINE!) decades—an 8-year-old Betty got her start in radio, and eventually moved on to countless roles on television and film. She cemented her place in America’s hearts with roles like Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rose Nylund on Golden Girls, and Elka Ostrovsky on Hot in Cleveland.
But more than that, White was something of a national darling. Her upbeat personality, quick wit, and beaming smile endeared her to millions over the years. You always knew you could count on Betty White to make you smile.
The tributes and memories of the Hollywood legend are already pouring in on social media:
Saddened to hear that @BettyMWhite has passed. I loved her comedic wit and endearing charm. She definitely was a sweetheart to the world and a gift to the entertainment world. 😔
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 31, 2021
LEGEND. Rest In Peace, Betty White 💔 pic.twitter.com/RjU1cpkPnn
— Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) December 31, 2021
In 1974, I was an obscure opening act for Linda Ronstadt at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Passing through the lobby before the show, I saw Betty White and her husband Allen Ludden waiting in line.
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) December 31, 2021
RIP Betty White, the only SNL host I ever saw get a standing ovation at the after party. A party at which she ordered a vodka and a hotdog and stayed til the bitter end.
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) December 31, 2021
Betty White: First Lady Of Television — and our hearts. Rest in Peace ❤️ pic.twitter.com/AInUQ80HHn
— Netflix (@netflix) December 31, 2021
Rest in peace, Betty—and thanks for the laughs.