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Ryan Reynolds, William Shatner And More Pay Tribute To Betty White After Death At 99

betty white james corden
(Image credit: CBS)

Beloved actress and television icon Betty White passed away on December 31 at the age of 99, and fans wasted no time in expressing their sorrow at her death and paying tribute to everything she accomplished over the course of her long and successful career. Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of celebrities and important public figures who were fans as well, and many took to social media to share tributes to her.

Betty White was just a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday when she passed away, and she leaves behind a strong legacy for her work in comedy as well as accomplishments ranging from volunteering during World War II, becoming one of the first women ever to be nominated for an Emmy (and going on to win five Primetime Emmys and two Daytime Emmys), and pushing for progress throughout her career

Ryan Reynolds, who worked with White on The Proposal, was one of the many to share a tribute to her, just a day after he played along with her joke about his crush on her. He posted: 

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Reynolds’ praise for White's talent for “defying expectation” is a sentiment that plenty of fans can undoubtedly echo, as she continued delivering laughs well into her 80s and 90s, and in fact made her Saturday Night Live hosting debut back in 2010 at the age of 88 to become the oldest host in show history. Former SNL writer and cast member Seth Meyers shared a fun detail about her time on the sketch show in his post in her honor:

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The death of a television icon like Betty White also prompted other TV icons to use social media to share their thoughts and memories of her over her years in the limelight. Star Trek's William Shatner – who was actually hilariously roasted by White during Comedy Central's 2006 Roast of William Shatner after appearing on Boston Legal with him – had a kind message in her memory:

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Betty White's comedic talents were so great that even other comedy legends had stories to tell about what her support meant to them over the years, with Steve Martin taking to Twitter to share what happened when he met White back in the 1970s. He wrote:

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. I loved Betty White, so I went up to them: 'I’m so honored to meet you both.' And then I said, 'Isn’t Linda great?' She said, 'We came to see you.' I said, 'Why?' 'Because we heard you were funny.' I was elated.

Who could possibly blame Steve Martin for feeling "elated" at the praise from Betty White, especially so early in his career? She was already well-known in the entertainment industry in 1974, and her star would only rise further over the years with series like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Betty White Show, and of course The Golden Girls. In the wake of her death, former Golden Girls writer David A. Goodman shared a story about when he encountered White again, many years later for a different show

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Big names in showbiz aren't the only ones who had messages to share about Betty White after the news broke of her death. President Joe Biden himself praised White as a "cultural icon" with her talent for making people smile:

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Another post brought some awareness to one of Betty White's accomplishments that is undoubtedly far less well-known than her work on Golden Girls or, later, Hot in Cleveland or her history-making hosting debut on SNL. The Twitter account for the U.S. Army acknowledged her both as an actress and for her service as a member of the American Women's Voluntary Services during World War II:

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All in all, the passing of Betty White so close to her birthday with just hours left before the new year was heartbreaking for her fans, and Marvel star Mark Ruffalo may have summed up the prevailing opinion of a lot of people who were saddened by the news:

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Our thoughts here at CinemaBlend are with the family, friends, and loved ones of Betty White in this difficult time. The tributes that began pouring out on social media from fans and celebrities alike prove that her talent and personality reached a lot of people over her nearly 100 years, and she won't be forgotten. 

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.