Betty White, Advocate & Friend, Passes Before 100th Birthday Celebration


Betty White passed away on New Year’s Eve, less than three weeks before her milestone 100th birthday on January 17, at her home in California. No specific cause of death was cited.

She began her career in 1930s Los Angeles as a radio personality, eventually attaining one of her most memorable and acclaimed roles in the 80s as Rose Nylund in The Golden Girls. The actress and comedienne’s career extends across seven decades. The “First Last of Television” was the first woman to produce a sitcom, Life with Elizabeth, and through that accomplishment was named honorary Mayor of Hollywood in 1955.

When not working in entertainment, her advocacy of causes like animal welfare, racial injustice, and LGBT rights bubbled to the surface.

In 1954, after hosting Arther Duncan, a black tap dancer, on her variety program The Betty White Show she was criticized heavily in Southern states and asked to remove him. She refused with “I’m sorry. Live with it,” gave Duncan more airtime on her show and it was subsequently canceled by the network.

As news of her death spread across the internet, devastated family, friends, and fans first needed to decipher if the reports were accurate. Over the years Betty White has been the target of multiple internet hoaxes claiming that she had died, unfailingly sending fans into a frenzy whenever the name of the “Last Golden Girl” began trending on social media.

To her credit, White usually had a witty remark whenever false alarms of her death were brought up in interviews. She attributes her outlook on death to the way her parents handled loss with her as a girl, first with a pet and then with her grandmother. Her mother would tell her that no one really knew what happened at the moment of death, but when someone pass away her mom would say, “Now they know the secret.”

After her death was confirmed by Jeff Witjas, agent and friend, loving tributes in the form of quotes, clips, memes, photos, gifs, and memories began flooding the Internet.

The star had, days before her passing, recently teased her appearance on the PEOPLE Magazine cover and expressed excitement over her upcoming 100th Birthday Celebration. To honor White’s legacy, the celebration will still be held along with the release of a tribute entitled Betty White: 100 Years Young by producers Steve Boettcher and Mike Trinklein.

Betty White is survived by her three stepchildren, David, Sarah, and Martha, from her third husband, Allen Ludden, who passed away from cancer in 1981.

Thank you for being a friend, Betty White. Now you know the secret.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.