Betty White dies aged 99: Celebs pay tribute to Golden Girls Star

The actress passed away just weeks before her 100th birthday.

The sad news of Golden Girls actress Betty White's death rocked Hollywood this evening as it was revealed she sadly passed away just weeks before her 100th birthday.

The actress was best known for her role in The Golden Girls as well as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Hot in Cleveland.

Betty's agent Jeff Witjas confirmed the sad news to PEOPLE, saying in a statement: "Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever.

"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."

Betty White

Betty White

US President Joe Biden also paid tribute to the legend.

He tweeted: "Betty White brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans. She’s a cultural icon who will be sorely missed. Jill and I are thinking of her family and all those who loved her this New Year’s Eve."

Ryan Reynolds wrote: "The world looks different now. 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."

Actress Viola Davis wrote: "RIP Betty White! Man did I think you would live forever. You blew a huge hole in this world that will inspire generations. Rest in glorious peace….you’ve earned your wings."

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Reese Witherspoon also paid tribute. She wrote: "So sad to hear about Betty White passing. I loved watching her characters that brought so much joy. Thank you, Betty, for making us all laugh!"

Outlander actress Caitriona Balfe said: "RIP Betty White. What a unique soul she was …. Thank you for all the laughs x."

Piers Morgan said: "RIP Betty White - the funniest woman I’ve ever met."

Scots comedian Janey Godley said: "Thank you for showing how comic time should look, how ageing doesn't diminish talent and for being a total legend. #BettyWhite

Following the news of the passing of Betty White, scores of the actress' former co-stars and other celebs took to social media to thank her for being a friend.

The Golden GirlsThe Mary Tyler Moore and Hot in Cleveland star, one of the most beloved American actresses of all time, died at her Los Angeles home at age 99 on Friday, Dec. 31, New Year's Eve, just a little over two weeks before what would have been her 100th birthday. She was preceded in death by her husband and TV host Allen Ludden, who passed away from stomach cancer in 1981.

While publicly mourning White, some celebs recalled heartwarming personal memories about the actress. Here are some celebrity tributes to the star:

Ryan Reynolds, who starred with White in the 2009 movie The Proposal, wrote on Instagram, "The world looks different now. She was great at defying expectation. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We'll miss you, Betty."

In his tribute, Reynolds shared a screenshot from a hilarious and profanity-laced 2016 video review White gave of his movie Deadpool.

Steve Martin tweeted, "In 1974, I was an obscure opening act for [singer] Linda Ronstadt at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Passing through the lobby before the show, I saw Betty White and her husband Allen Ludden waiting in line. I loved Betty White, so I went up to them: 'I'm so honored to meet you both.' And then I said, 'Isn't Linda great?' She said, 'We came to see you.' I said, 'Why?' "Because we heard you were funny.' I was elated."

Jennifer Love Hewitt, who worked with White on Hot in Cleveland, her own show The Client List and the 2011 Hallmark movie The Lost Valentine, shared a tearful video message on Instagram, saying, "When I was a kid, I watched The Golden Girls with my grandmother and I fell in love with Betty White and then I got to work with her and I fell in love with her for real. And I had the greatest honor and pleasure of being really close with her and calling her a really, really good friend. One of my best friends."

She continued, "She was everything that you wanted her to be and more. So please honor her by laughing and drinking vodka—because she loved vodka, and playing Scrabble—because she loved to play Scrabble, and watching her on Golden Girls and all the amazing things that she was a part of. Hug your animals because she loved animals more than anything in the world. Miss Betty White, you are now my angel and I love you always."

Debra Messing tweeted, "Betty White. Oh noooooooo. I grew up watching and being delighted by her. She was playful and daring and smart. We all knew this day would come but it doesn't take away the feeling of loss. A national treasure, indeed. Fly with the Angels."

Andy Cohen tweeted, "Tonight we will raise MANY glasses to the WONDERFUL legacy of Betty White!!!"

LeAnn Rimes tweeted, "Betttttyyyy… uh, how heartbreaking! Thank you for the laughs! You are FOREVER in our hearts ♥️ #BettyWhite #ripbettywhite"

Ellen DeGeneres tweeted, "What an exceptional life. I'm grateful for every second I got to spend with Betty White. Sending love to her family, friends and all of us."

Mario Lopez tweeted, alongside a photo of himself with White, "What an incredible life… RIP Betty White #Legend #Icon #BettyWhite"

Noel Vasquez/Getty Images for Extra

CNN host Don Lemon also shared a photo of himself with White, tweeting, "Noooooooooo. Say it isn't so. [broken heart emoji] #BettyWhite"

Marlee Matlin tweeted, "Betty White will go down in the history books as ageless..99 or 100, the numbers belie the fact that she lived the best life EVER! RIP Betty White."

Seth Meyers tweeted, "RIP Betty White, the only SNL host I ever saw get a standing ovation at the after party. A party at which she ordered a vodka and a hotdog and stayed til the bitter end."

Viola Davis wrote on Instagram, "RIP Betty White! Man did I think you would live forever. You blew a huge hole in this world that will inspire generations. Rest in glorious peace….you've earned your wings."

Katie Couric wrote on Instagram, "What a sad way to end an already sad year. The beloved Betty White has died at the age of 99 — just a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday. I had the privilege of interviewing Betty several times, but my conversation with her at the Central Park Zoo in 2011 has always stuck with me. 'Kindness and consideration of somebody besides yourself keeps you feeling young,' Betty told me — words I think we can all live by. Rest In Peace, Betty, we love you. ♥️♥️♥️"

She added, "Give our love to Allen as well as Mary, Rhoda, Phyllis, Murray, Mr. Grant, Georgette and of course Ted…not to mention Dorothy, Blanche and Sophia."

Happy Days alum and fellow veteran TV star Henry Winkler, who appeared on an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1973, tweeted, "Betty White : I is very hard to absorb you are not here anymore.. But the memories of your deLIGHT are ..Thank you for yur humor , your warmth and your activism .. Rest now and say Hi to Bill."

Reese Witherspoon tweeted, "So sad to hear about Betty White passing. I loved watching her characters that brought so much joy. Thank you, Betty, for making us all laugh!"

Dionne Warwick, who appeared with White on several shows in the '70s, tweeted, "Another brilliant talent has made her transition. I had the pleasure of getting to know Betty White and shared a few giggles with her. May she rest in well-earned peace."

Kristin Chenoweth, who starred with White in the 2010 movie You Again, tweeted, "Thank you for being a friend (and so so so much more) [broken heart emoji] Rest easy, Betty."

Kathy Griffin tweeted, "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...yells from the back of the soundstage for everyone to hear 'Where's that redheaded bitch who stole my parking spot???' SWOON. A friendship was born."

She continued, "Another time I was lucky enough to present at the primetime Emmy awards with the lake [sic] great Don Rickles. He and Betty and I...We're sitting backstage at rehearsal with the great Mary Tyler Moore. Don and Betty and I were being silly and vulgar and Mary was not having it. Mary got up and walked away and Don turned to Betty and I and said 'She was never the warmest.' We laughed way too hard."

She also recalled when the actress guest starred on her show Kathy Griffin My Life on the D List in 2009, on an episode where Griffin's mom, Maggie, has a play date with White. Griffin called it a "bucket list memory, touching and hilarious at the same time."

"We surprised Maggie, so when Betty shows up at Sizzler Senior Early Bird Special, my Mom about fell OUT!" Griffin tweeted. "And I got to spend the day on film and off camera, with my mom and Betty White. It was basically a dream girls day. Betty legit treated my mom like a friend. She answered every question, acted very shocked at every word out of my mouth, which was mandatory."

Griffin added, "She hung out with my mom, like a peer. She treated me like we were in the same club or something. She 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."

Steve Aoki tweeted, "Betty White was a [goat emoji]."

Source: Eonline 

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