Betty White dead at 99; Emmy-winning star was a beloved comedian on TV and in movies

December 31, 2021

Emmy-winning comedian/actress Betty White died in her Los Angeles home of natural causes at age 99, according to her agent/friend Jeff Witjas, who made the announcement on December 31, 2021. White would have celebrated her 100th birthday on January 17, 2022. Less than a week before her death, People magazine published an issue with White as the subject of a cover story to celebrate this 100th birthday milestone. The issue is dated January 10, 2022.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Witjas commented: “I truly never thought she was going to pass away. She meant the world to me as a friend. She was the most positive person I’ve ever known.”

White was best known for her co-starring roles in the TV sitcoms “The Golden Girls” (which was on the air from 1985 to 1992) and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which was on the air from 1973 to 1977. She made numerous guest-starring appearances in other TV series, including “Boston Legal,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Saturday Night Live,” and “That ’70s Show.”

In her long career, White received 21 Primetime Emmy nominations and won five Primetime Emmys: one for Best Actress in 1951; two for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in 1975 and 1976; one for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, for “The Golden Girls” in 1985; and one for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, for “The John Larroquette Show” in 1996.

White had the rare distinction of being nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for five consecutive decades, from the 1970s to the 2010s. Her last nomination was in 2014, for Best Reality/Reality Competition Host, for “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers.”

Although most of her fame came from television, White also had notable roles in several moviies, including 2009’s “The Proposal” and 2003’s “Bringing Down the House.” White got her showbiz start in radio in the 1940s.

She was born in Oak Park, Illinois, and was raised in Los Angeles. White, who did not have children, was married three times: Her first marriage to Dick Barker ended in divorce in 1945, the same year that they married. Her second husband was Lane Allen; their marriage lasted from 1947 to 1949, and ended in divorce. She was married to her third and last husband, Allen Ludden, from 1983 until his death in 1981. Although White did not have any biological children, she was a stepmother to Ludden’s three children from his first marriage to Margaret McGloin Ludden.

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