By now you’ve likely heard that one of entertainment’s most beloved icons, Betty White, passed away today at 99, just days short of what would have been her 100th birthday. As the New York Times noted in its obit published this afternoon, White is probably best known for portraying “the nymphomaniacal Sue Ann Nivens on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ and the sweet but dim Rose Nylund on ‘The Golden Girls.’” She won five Emmys in a TV career that spanned seven decades and later in life became a beloved figure on the internet.
From the aforementioned New York Times obit:
One of her last in-person appearances was on the 2018 Emmy Awards telecast.
“It’s incredible that you can stay in a career this long and still have people put up with you,” she told the assembled TV luminaries, who gave her a prolonged standing ovation. “I wish they did that at home.”
Just a few days ago, White gave an interview to People to discuss her upcoming 100th birthday and the magazine noted that “nowadays, White enjoys a quiet life in Los Angeles playing crossword puzzles and card games. She also likes to watch animal documentaries, Jeopardy! and sports, particularly golf.” When asked about her diet, White told People, “I try to avoid anything green. I think it’s working.”
Naturally, there’s been an outpouring of tributes and remembrances for White on social media this afternoon. Below are some of our favorites — some funny, some poignant, some informative, some memory-inspiring.
I hosted one of the many attempted reboots of the Pyramid game show in 2010 and Betty was a celebrity guest. The only thing she asked for all day was two bean and cheese burritos from Taco Bell. https://t.co/VZTcT2BQCm
— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) December 31, 2021
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.
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) December 31, 2021
I worked with #BettyWhite on her 95th birthday. I thought you should know the very first words she ever said to me:
“Nice wedding ring. When I was young, if you wanted to fuck a guy you had to marry him. So I was married 3 times.”
RIP Betty, you gave us everything. pic.twitter.com/UiEF8bhsGl
— Aimee Carrero (@aimeecarrero) December 31, 2021
In 2012, a Facebook group of more than half a million urged NBC to invite Betty White to host SNL.
“When I first heard about the campaign, I didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say it sounds like a huge waste of time.”
She won an Emmy. pic.twitter.com/dzAjhUg0Ou
— Charlotte Clymer (@cmclymer) December 31, 2021
The legend Betty White has died at 99.
We’ll never forget when she co-hosted @WWE Raw and was ready to fight everyone pic.twitter.com/lKwOjPrdsL
— ESPN (@espn) December 31, 2021
This clip of Betty White with Ryan Reynolds lives rent free in my head. pic.twitter.com/82SpPWH3Nq
— Ahmed Ali (@MrAhmednurAli) December 31, 2021
Live your life in such a way that if you die at 99 it’s still too soon. #BettyWhite
— Susie Meister (@susie_meister) December 31, 2021
She made us laugh. Thank you Betty White. RIP. pic.twitter.com/d6XeLrlnm1
— Pete Souza (@PeteSouza) December 31, 2021
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.
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 31, 2021
Betty White dying three weeks before she turned 100 is the final act of performer whose timing was always sharp, always unexpected, and even with the warmest of characters, always a little dangerous. No one else could live to 99 and so perfectly leave us wanting more.
— Guy Branum (@guybranum) December 31, 2021
Betty White’s IMDB is basically a history of broadcast television.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) December 31, 2021
You know what’s really great? We told Betty White that we loved her while she was still alive.
— Paula Poundstone (@paulapoundstone) December 31, 2021
It’s not the departure of Betty White you should be worried about; it’s the arrival of the thing beyond the stars she was protecting us from.
— ☾ Lunar Soviet Socialist Republic ☭ (@thepurringjew) December 31, 2021
In 1954, #BettyWhite was criticized after having Arthur Duncan, a Black tap dancer, on her show.
Her response: “I’m sorry. Live with it.”
She then gave Duncan even more airtime. The show was canceled soon after.
Rest well, Betty. #ThankYouForBeingAFriend pic.twitter.com/3rQRTHOPe7
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center (@TheKingCenter) December 31, 2021
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.
— Dionne Warwick (@dionnewarwick) December 31, 2021
Oh Dear Lord. Heaven just got a new superstar to celebrate with tonight! An icon, a legend, a trailblazer, a badass, and a ray of sunshine who gifted us creative genius, joy and laughter for 99 years. Thank you for your bold and generous spirit. Rest In Peace #BettyWhite pic.twitter.com/ng2gHB8K5K
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) 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
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.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) December 31, 2021
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
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) December 31, 2021
“Kindness and consideration of somebody besides yourself keeps you feeling young”
~ Betty Whitepic.twitter.com/ZXP4R8FYyO
— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) December 31, 2021
Fuck new years we gettin turnt for betty white tonight
— toxic king (@777jorgeivan) December 31, 2021
In a world so divided, one of the last things we could all agree on was Betty White.
— Randy Rainbow (@RandyRainbow) December 31, 2021
Pour one out tonight for a true legend on this New Year’s Eve.