Betty White, the Emmy-winning star of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Golden Girls” and many other TV series over the decades, died on Dec. 31. She was 99.
Her agent, Jeff Witjas, confirmed her death to People on Friday.
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” Witjas told People in a statement. “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.”
White would have turned 100 years old on Jan. 17, 2022.
White was born on Jan. 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois, but her family moved to Los Angeles when she was a toddler. People reports that she became enamored with acting when she took the lead role in the senior class play she wrote in high school.
Her first on-screen gig came in 1949, when she made an appearance on a talk show, “Al Jarvis’s Hollywood on Television.” The New York Times reported that she took over as host when Jarvis left the show. During the 1950s, she appeared on and even produced other TV shows and became a well-known guest on many game shows, including “Password” — whose host, Ludden, she married in 1963. (Ludden died in 1981.)
Her roles on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (as Sue Ann Nivens) in the 1970s and “The Golden Girls” (as Rose Nylund) in the 1980s endeared her to many viewers and earned her multiple Emmy nominations and three wins.
Her television career continued after those shows ended. In the past decade, White’s appearances on “Saturday Night Live” (at age 88) and even a Super Bowl Snickers commercial brought her back into the spotlight, and her role in “Hot in Cleveland” earned her yet another Emmy nomination — her 17th. She guest-starred on many TV series, ranging from “Community,” “Ally McBeal” to “That ’70s Show,” and even had a recurring role on “The Bold and the Beautiful” in the 2000s.