Golden Girls actress Betty White dies aged 99 as friends pay tribute

Legendary actress Betty White has died, aged 99.

The former Golden Girls star passed away at her home this morning (December 31), just 17 days short of her milestone 100th birthday.

Her agent and friend Jeff Witjas said in a statement to PEOPLE : “Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever.

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“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.”

The much-loved star has has the longest running career in TV as a female, with a number of screen credits to her name.

The TV icon was gifted a Guinness World Record in 2018 after her record-breaking nine decades in the TV industry. During that time, she received eight Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Grammy.

She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and is a 1985 Television Hall of Fame inductee.

In 2015, the actress was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award and earlier this month, it was announced that her 100th birthday would be celebrated on January 17, 2022 at cinemas across the United States, with the showing of a new documentary-style movie celebrating White’s life and career titled ‘Betty White: 100 Years Young – A Birthday Celebration’.

The documentary-style movie is set to contain clips from some of White’s most iconic roles, including Rose on ‘Golden Girls’, her hosting gig on ‘Saturday Night Live’, her Super Bowl/Snickers commercial, and her role as Sue Ann on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’.

A star-studded cast of friends including Ryan Reynolds, Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Clint Eastwood, and Morgan Freeman were announced to feature.

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