Betty White dies at 99: Tributes pour in from Joe Biden and celebrity fans

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  • Betty White
    Betty White
    American actress and comedian (1922–2021)
  • Joe Biden
    Joe Biden
    46th and current president of the United States
 (Reuters)
(Reuters)

Tributes are pouring in to celebrate the life of Betty White, the trailblazing comedy icon and Golden Girl who has died at 99.

Her death came just weeks before she was set to mark her 100th birthday celebrations on 17 January with the release of a new documentary Betty White: 100 Years Young — A Birthday Celebration.

Fans, friend and co-stars alike have been celebrating White’s remarkable life and indefatigable spirit.

President Joe Biden commented: “That’s a shame. She was a lovely lady... 99 years old. As my mother would say, God love her,” according to a tweet from NBC’s White House Correspondent Mike Memoli.

Later, Biden added on Twitter: “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, who co-starred with White in 2009’s The Proposal tweeted: “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.”

Musician Jenny Lewis, who appeared as a child actor alongside White in The Golden Girls, posted a clip of a scene they’d shared with the caption: “thank you betty white for being so kind to this kid behind the scenes and for teaching me the most important life lesson “ sometimes life just isn’t fair kiddo “”

Actor Viola Davis tweeted: “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.”

Singer and TV host Dionne Warwick wrote: “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.”

News anchor and journalist Dan Rather wrote: “A spirit of goodness and hope. Betty White was much beloved because of who she was, and how she embraced a life well lived. Her smile. Her sense of humor. Her basic decency. Our world would be better if more followed her example. It is diminished with her passing.”

Another news anchor, CNN’s Don Lemon, tweeted simply: “Noooooooooo. Say it isn’t so” alongside a heartbroken emoji and a picture of himself with White.

Meanwhile DJ and broadcaster Mark Lamarr paid tribute to White with a favourite line from when she hosted Saturday Night Live: “God bless Betty White. “At my age if I want to connect with old friends I need a Ouija board”. Classy and adorable to the end”

Late-night host Seth Meyers also referenced White’s SNL appearances, writing: “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.”

The official Twitter account of the US Army paid tribute to a lesser known period of White’s life, pointing out that: “Not only was she an amazing actress, she also served during WWII as a member of the American Women’s Voluntary Services.” Alongside a photograph of White in uniform, the Army called her: “A true legend on and off the screen.”

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