Hollywood icon Betty White, most known for her role as Rose Nylund in “The Golden Girls,” has passed away, TMZ reported. The comedian was found dead in her Los Angeles home on Friday morning (Dec. 31). Authorities believe she may have died on Thursday evening (Dec. 30).
White’s death was further confirmed by agent and close friend Jeff Witjas, who told Variety that she had not been ill before she passed. “Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” he said 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, whose career started in 1939, spent her first few years working in radio, appearing as a guest on programs like “Blondie,” “The Great Gildersleeve,” and “This Is Your FBI” before landing her own show. She eventually broke into television, developing into the beloved actress we know today.
Over the span of eight decades, she acted in a slew of shows and films, including “Date with the Angels,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Love Boat,” “Mama’s Family,” “The Golden Palace,” “Ladies Man,” “That ’70s Show,” “Higglytown Heroes,” “Boston Legal,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Pound Puppies,” “Hot in Cleveland” and her self-titled show.
Her work earned her a Grammy, Emmys, Screen Actors Guild Awards, American Comedy Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards. She currently holds the title for the woman with the longest-running career in TV.
After years of working hard and perfecting her craft, the last few years of White’s life saw her completing crossword puzzles, playing card games and watching animal documentaries, golf tournaments and “Jeopardy!” She was preparing to celebrate her 100th birthday on Jan. 17 with the release of Betty White: 100 Years Young, a one-night-only film giving fans insight into her day-to-day life.
In the days before her milestone birthday, she told People that she was “in such good health” and shared her secrets to living a long life. [I] “always find the positive,” she said, adding that she stayed away from eating vegetables. “I try to avoid anything green,” White joked. “I think it’s working.”