Just weeks before she turned 100, the world lost Betty White
It seems like 2021 just had to get one last dig in before bidding adieu. On December 31, 2021, Betty White passed away peacefully in her home of natural causes. Even though the Golden Girls star was approaching triple-digits, fans and colleagues alike were not only stricken with grief, but shock. There’s no way Betty White is gone, many thought. After all, she had been the subject of numerous death hoaxes.
Jeff Witjas, White’s close friend and agent, confirmed the star’s passing. “Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” he told People. “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.”
When the reality finally set in, an outpouring of grief flooded social media. “Rest in peace, sweet Betty. My God, how bright heaven must be right now,” tweeted Valerie Bertinelli, who costarred in Hot in Cleveland with White.
Ryan Reynolds, who starred alongside White in the rom-com The Proposal, shed his usual jokester persona and got real about White.
“The world looks different now,” Reynolds tweeted. “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.” Days before her passing, Reynolds and White still shooting off jokes, with White saying that Reynolds couldn’t “get over his thing” for her, to which he jokingly fired back, “I’m absolutely sick of the media exploiting past relationships just to drive clicks.”
Celebrities continued to share their memories of working with Betty White
White had a prolific career and touched the lives of countless actors. Kerry Washington posted a touching tribute to White on her Instagram. The two had worked together on the SNL 40th Anniversary special.
“Dear Lord. Heaven just got a new superstar to celebrate with tonight! An icon, a legend, a trailblazer, a badass, and a ray of sunshine who gifted us creative genius, joy and laughter for 99 years,” Washington captioned her post, which features a photo of a younger Betty (quite the dish!) and a GIF from their episode together on SNL.
Conan O’Brien took to Twitter and shared a clip of White and Jason Momoa having a bit of an adorable moment. “God bless Betty White. As my mom would say, “we were so lucky to have her,” the late night veteran said on Twitter.
Billy Eichner said what we were all basically thinking:
Cher was very Cher and posted an emoji-filled anecdote on Twitter. “I Don’t Know if any🐣🐥Can see this…..None of my Twts are posting, But BETTY IS DEAD,” the Oscar winner wrote via Twitter. “I Watched Her on her first TV Show ‘Life With Elizabeth’ When I Was 7 Yrs Old. When She Did [The Sonny and Cher Show] I Got a Chance To Tell Her. I Was Embarrassed cause tears came to my eyes. She put her arms around me, & I Felt 7 again. Some Ppl Are Called ICONS🙄, BETTY IS A TRUE ICON.”
The world truly is a little darker without you, Betty.