Acting and comedic legend Betty White died at the age of 99 on Friday, 17 days short of her 100th birthday.
Fox News reported that White’s agent and close friend Jeff Witjas confirmed the news on Friday, confirming that the actress, known for roles such as “Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” passed away of what are as yet unclear causes.
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” Witjas said in a statement to People magazine. “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.”
Following what was groundbreaking work on television, White also had a prolific movie career, incorporating her acting and comedy skills for work like that of “The Proposal” and more recently, “Toy Story 4.”
President Joe Biden responded to the icon’s death on Friday saying, “That’s a shame. She was a lovely lady,” when reporters questioned the president at lunch in Wilmington, Delaware with first lady Jill Biden.
“Who didn’t love Betty White? We’re so sad,” the first lady said.
In a more formal statement from the White House and the president’s social media accounts, the administration said that “Betty White brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans,” in their statement. “She’s a cultural icon who will be sorely missed.”
In addition to television, movies, comedy, producing, humanitarian work, and vocal acting, White wrote in her 2011 book “If You Ask Me (and Of Course You Won’t),” one of the reasons she believed she was so lucky to be in her line of work:
“I’m so fortunate that I not only have a passion for my profession but that that profession allows me to indulge my other passion — for animals — and work for their welfare. If I was in any other profession, people might not listen to me.”
Children’s authors Tom and Lorenzo commented on White’s passing in a tweet that has since gone viral saying that the cultural icon’s passing was just another example of her impeccable timing:
“Dying hours before New Year’s Eve ensures that Betty White will have more toasts made to her memory on the day she died than just about anyone in history. She always was a master of timing.”
Across the internet social media users of all kinds and with all types of followings have been posting one phrase to ring in the New Year:
“To 2022. For Betty.”