America’s Grandmother, and eight-time Emmy Award winner, Betty White has passed away at the age of 99.
White was the last living member of “The Golden Girls,” which ran from 1985 to 1992. She played good girl Rose Nylund opposite Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty. White held memorable supporting roles in feature films like “Lake Placid,” “The Proposal” and starred in the sitcom “Hot in Cleveland” from 2010-2015.
Law enforcement sources told TMZ the 99-year-old icon passed at home Friday morning.
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” her agent and close friend Jeff Witjas said in a statement to 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.”
Before she became everyone’s favorite on-screen grandmother, White was born in Oak Park, Illinois on January 17, 1922. Her family moved to California when she was a year old, eventually settling in Los Angeles in the midst of the Great Depression. While attending the famous Beverly Hills High School, White aspired to be a forest ranger, but upon discovering that women couldn’t hold the profession at the time she took to writing and eventually performing.
Just three months out of high school White started modeling and joined the American Women’s Voluntary Services transporting military supplies through the state. By the late-1940s she was working in radio as the host of, appropriately enough, “The Betty White Show.” In 1949 she transitioned to television, co-hosting with Al Jarvis on the fledgling variety show “Hollywood on Television.” When Jarvis left the show in 1952, White took over the six-day-a-week series and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1951 for Best Actress — the first year a category for women had been created.
White held the record for the longest TV career of any entertainer — making her debut in 1939 when the medium was just an experiment and going on to appear as an actress, host and in-demand guest well into her 90s.