Betty White Passes Away Weeks Before Turning 100

betty white tribute

We all hoped Betty White would live forever. But alas, even the most special lives must come to an end. And Betty’s did, just a little more than two weeks before what would have been her 100th birthday on January 17th.

Betty White 1922-2021

betty white passes away

Betty White passed away peacefully in her home just before 9:30 am Friday morning, December 31st. A talented actress who garnered 5 primetime Emmys during her career (and was nominated for countless more) , she was best known for her roles in ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show‘ and “Golden Girls.”

Betty White, photo: Hulton Archives

Beloved for more than just her terrific turns as lusty Sue Ann Nivens and the lovably naive Rose Nylund from St. Olaf, an animal lover and activist, Betty White had a wicked sense of humor, an infectious smile and stayed perpetually in the spotlight. At age 88, she was the oldest person to ever host Saturday Night Live.

At 88, Betty White was the oldest person to ever host SNL
At 88, Betty White was the oldest person to ever host SNL

“It’s your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don’t take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver.” -Betty White

betty white and dogs through the years
Betty, who always owned at least one dog, has written books, directed and acted in a series called Pet Set

Besides her love for animals, Betty had one great love of her life, game show host Allen Ludden, whom she met as a regular guest on the hit game show Password from 1961 to 1975. They were married for 19 years— “Not long enough,” she says—before Ludden’s death from stomach cancer in 1981.

betty white and husband allen ludden
Betty White and husband Allen Ludden

In an interview with Parade Magazine, they printed the following timeline of her most notable work:

1939 White begins her TV career by singing on an “experimental” Los Angeles station.
1940s–1951 Works on various radio shows before landing a live daily co-hosting spot on Hollywood on Television, which earns her an Emmy nomination.
1952 Founds production company and creates the TV series Life With Elizabeth, which runs in syndication from 1953 to 1955.
1954 Hosts her own daily talk show, The Betty White Show, on NBC.
1956 Begins 19-year run as host and commentator of Tournament of Roses Parade.
1962 Makes film acting debut in Advise & Consent.
1973 Begins guest appearances on The Mary Tyler Moore Show as Sue Ann Nivens, leading to two Emmys.
1983 Becomes first woman to win a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host, for Just Men!
1985 Lands Emmy-winning role as Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls.
2005–2008 Begins role on Boston Legal. Joins cast of the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful.
2010 Featured in memorable TV commercials for Snickers. Becomes—at age 88—the oldest person ever to host Saturday Night Live, which earns her another Emmy. Takes role in TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland.
2011 Stars in the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie The Lost Valentine and receives the Jack Benny Award for contributions to television comedy.
2012 Executive produces and hosts the senior citizen hidden-camera prank series Betty White’s Off Their Rockers. Receives first Grammy, for her spoken-word recording If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t).

For a full bio of her career and many memorable quotes, go here.

betty white star on hollywood's walk of fame
Betty White’s star on Hollywood’s walk of fame

We will miss you Betty White. Thank you for everything.