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TV Legend Betty White Is Dead At 99

Betty White is shown at the Emmy Awards.
(Image credit: Television Academy)

Betty White, the iconic actor from classic sitcoms like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls and Hot in Cleveland who continued to gain fans well into her 90s with her sharp and often biting comedy, has died at the age of 99. 

Just 17 days short of her 100th birthday, Betty White died December 31, 2021, at her home, TMZ reported. The actress had been on TV and radio since the age of 8 years old, and earned a Guinness World Record in 2014 for working on television longer than anyone else in the industry after nine decades. She was perhaps known best as Rose Nylund from The Golden Girls, but her television credits number in the hundreds, including her place as a mainstay on classic game shows like The Hollywood Squares and Match Game.

Major accolades of Betty White’s storied career include eight Emmy Awards, two SAG Awards and a Grammy. In fact, White was one of the first women to be nominated for an Emmy, as an award for Best Actress was added in 1951, with White being one of the initial nominees. She didn’t win that one, but in 1983, White became the first woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host, ironically, for the show Just Men! 

Betty White was also one of the first women to produce a sitcom — 1952’s Life With Elizabeth. With a resume like this (and that’s barely scratched the surface) it’s no surprise White has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

It was Betty White’s personality, however, and the fact that she never took herself too seriously that endeared her to fans for decades. Legendary Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek even said she was his first choice to replace him on the game show. From making out with Bradley Cooper on Saturday Night Live to her expletive-filled raving for Deadpool to giving elderly folks the chance to prank young whippersnappers on Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, this television pioneer left a ton of laughter and happiness behind. Enjoy some of that laughter in the video montage below.

Betty White had big plans for her 100th birthday. Select theaters around the country planned to air 100 Years Young in celebration of the television legend, which was to include cameos from White’s co-stars, friends and fans, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tina Fey, Carol Burnett, Robert Redford and, of course, Ryan Reynolds, White’s co-star from the 2009 comedy The Proposal, with whom she had a hilarious faux feud/romantic crush.

It's a tragedy that we didn't get to witness Betty White as a centenarian, as she would have hit the 100 mark on January 17, 2022. This TV legend seemed immortal, and she went strong to the very end.  Our hearts go out to Betty White’s friends, family and all of her many fans during this time.

Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.