Who didn’t love Betty White?
The 99-year-old actress — legend of film, television and razor-sharp comedic timing — had an age-defying career that spanned nearly eight decades. From her appearance as a child on a radio program to her role in the iconic 1970s “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” series to her scene-stealing appearance in the 2009 film “The Proposal,” White’s comedy never grew old. But it was her role as the always sunny Rose Nylund on the NBC comedy “The Golden Girls” that cemented the actress as a national treasure.
White, who reveled in her elder stateswoman status, was just weeks away from her 100th birthday on Jan. 17. In a recent People magazine cover story marking the upcoming milestone, White said she was “so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age … It’s amazing.”
Betty White: First Lady Of Television — and our hearts. Rest in Peace ❤️ pic.twitter.com/AInUQ80HHn— Netflix (@netflix) December 31, 2021
For years, White’s “The Proposal” co-star Ryan Reynolds joked that the nonagenarian was his “ex-girlfriend.” White joked to People in a piece published Wednesday that “he can’t get over his thing for me, but Robert Redford is The One.”
On Friday, Reynolds reflected on her passing.
“The world looks different now,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “She was great at defying expectation. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty.”
Comedian Kathy Griffin, who worked with White on the sitcom “Suddenly Susan” and her reality show “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” wrote on Twitter that White “actually treated me like an equal in the comedy gurrrl world. She was as sharp and funny as she was soft and wise … and no matter how long this world continues to spin, there will be only one Betty White.”
1) Betty White. Where do I begin? I’ve known her long, but I think the first time I met her was when she was a guest star on Suddenly Susan in the late 90s. Everyone was very excited she was on the show. I had accidentally parked in her parking spot that day. She walks in…— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) December 31, 2021
“Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig called White a “genius” and, like many others on social media, lamented the news of her death on the last day of an already tumultuous year: “Man, 2021, you just couldn’t slip out without one more punch in the face, could you?” he wrote. “It’s hard to imagine a world without her. It’ll be a much less funny place, that’s for sure.”
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who had the “Golden Girls” star on her show many times over the years, wrote on Twitter that the actress had lived “an exceptional life” and that she was “grateful for every second I got to spend with Betty White.”
Betty White : I is very hard to absorb you are not here anymore.. But the memories of your deLIGHT— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) December 31, 2021
are ..Thank you for yur humor , your warmth and your activism ..
Rest now and say Hi to Bill
But it wasn’t just individuals and celebrities who felt White’s impact. Networks such as Comedy Central and Netflix dedicated tweets to White, as well as advocacy groups like GLAAD. White was a longtime advocate for the LGBTQ community and participated in one of GLAAD’s anti-bullying campaigns in 2013, joking that she should change her name to Betty Purple as a show of support. On Friday, the organization shouted out the “supporter of LGBTQ equality and acceptance” and, borrowing a line from the “Golden Girls” theme song, thanked White “for being a friend.”
Betty White transcended generation. She was an entertainer well-known and respected and loved by everyone, regardless of age. That, alone, is a remarkable achievement for someone whose life spanned eighteen presidential administrations.— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) December 31, 2021
Our national treasure, Betty White, has passed just before her 100th birthday. Our Sue Ann Nivens, our beloved Rose Nylund, has joined the heavens to delight the stars with her inimitable style, humor, and charm. A great loss to us all. We shall miss her dearly.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 31, 2021
RIP. One of my artistic heroes. It would be plenty for any character actor to create a role as indelible as Sue Ann Nivens or Rose Nylund, but she was responsible for both. And I got to know her a little, which is a gift I’ll cherish forever. pic.twitter.com/2dliBcCuM0— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) December 31, 2021
Dictionary.com also paid homage to the actress, simply tweeting the word “golden” and adding a fourth definition: “Betty White.”
golden— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) December 31, 2021
1. bright, metallic, or lustrous like gold.
2. full of happiness, prosperity, or vigor.
3. highly talented and favored; destined for success.
4. Betty White. pic.twitter.com/uLiOr5j13X