RIP Betty White: Paying Tribute to the Comedic Genius of the Beloved ‘Golden Girls’ Actor

Betty White

Photo: Roth Stock/Everett Collection/Depositphotos

On December 31, 2021, actor and comedian Betty White passed away in her home in Los Angeles. Just a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday milestone on January 17, the news of her death rippled throughout the world as those in Hollywood and everyone touched by her talents mourned (and continues to mourn) the loss of this icon.

To say White was a cultural juggernaut is an understatement. She created two popular sitcom characters: Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (a double Emmy-winning role) and Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls (another role in which she won an Emmy). The latter show is often the most lauded on her list of performances; but as a record-breaking actor that had the longest career of any female entertainer, her credits don’t stop there.

After The Golden Girls ended in 1992, she made guest appearances and had recurring parts on television. She was seen on Ally McBeal, That ‘70s Show, the daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, and many more. During the end of the early aughts, she starred alongside Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock in the 2009 rom-com The Proposal. A year after that, she received a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild.

White’s fans wanted to see her in all the things. And thanks to a “spirited social media campaign,” she hosted Saturday Night Live in May 2010. It turned out to be the show’s highest ratings in a year and a half. The same year, White was one of the stars of the sitcom Hot in Cleveland, where she played a caretaker over the course of five seasons.

Before her passing, there was a big celebration planned for White’s 100th birthday in the form of an exclusive documentary. Now a celebration of her life, it will be shown in almost 900 theaters around the world for a special one-night event. Titled Betty White: 100 Years Young—A Birthday Celebration, it will show clips from her most famous roles and even a lost episode from her earliest sitcom in the 1950s. The documentary also has other memorable moments and special guests.

With the big birthday bash planned and promoted, the news of White’s death hit the world hard. See how celebrities, politicians, and others have publically mourned her passing. “The world looks different now,” Reynolds wrote on Twitter. “She was great at defying expectation. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret.”

Beloved actor and comedian Betty White passed away at age 99, just a few weeks before her 100th birthday. Actors, apoliticians, and other notable people around the world are mourning the loss of this icon.



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h/t: [Variety]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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