Our beloved Betty White left us on the last day of 2021, just days before her big 100th birthday celebration on January 17th. People Magazine put Betty on their cover in anticipation of her 100th birthday and a documentary film on Betty’s life was going to be released for one day on her birthday. But Betty in her infinite wisdom got the last damn laugh by deciding that 100 was a milestone she really didn’t need to achieve. The one thing Betty’s death proved was how beloved she was around the world. Betty’s reach transcended race, gender, sexual orientation, and generations. And despite being 99 years old, it felt too soon for Betty to be leaving us. Many people who loved Betty spent the weekend having a Golden Girls marathon, and others expressed their love for Betty. Celebrity tributes poured in. Below are a few tributes including from President Biden and Robert Redford:
NBC tweeted out love and thanked her for being a friend:
Thank you for being our friend.
NBC will miss our Golden Girl. pic.twitter.com/J2EEGxxuHZ
— NBC Entertainment (@nbc) December 31, 2021
SNL re-aired the episode that Betty hosted in 2010 and also tweeted about her impact on the show:
Rest in Peace, Betty White ❤️
Watch Betty’s episode of SNL tonight on NBC. pic.twitter.com/7W5CjxiKvG
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) January 1, 2022
May 8, 2010
— Holly Robinson Peete 💃🏾♍️ (@hollyrpeete) January 2, 2022
Bestie and “ex-lover” (an inside joke) Ryan Reynolds, whom Betty said could never get over her, tweeted his sadness:
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. pic.twitter.com/uevwerjobS
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) December 31, 2021
Long time friend, Betty’s crush and Ryan Reynolds’ rival, Robert Redford, released a statement to People saying that he too had a crush on Betty.
President Biden and First Lady Jill also sent out their tributes.
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
Besides an illustrious acting career, Betty also served in the army during WWII. The U.S. Army account tweeted out their tribute and commended Betty for her service:
We are saddened by the passing of Betty White.
Not only was she an amazing actress, she also served during WWII as a member of the American Women's Voluntary Services.
A true legend on and off the screen. pic.twitter.com/1HRDYCeV7w
— U.S. Army (@USArmy) December 31, 2021
Forever first lady Michelle Obama tweeted out a picture of Betty with Bo, the Obama’s Portuguese water dog that passed away and I almost cried:
Betty White broke barriers, defied expectations, served her country, and pushed us all to laugh. Barack and I join so many around the world who will miss the joy she brought to the world. I know our Bo is looking forward to seeing her up in heaven. pic.twitter.com/tVL7NUw2TT
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 1, 2022
Cedric the Entertainer shared a clip singing with Betty:
Last but not least, Don Cheadle credits Betty for helping his family find their veterinarian:
an attempt to accommodate for it. nobody asked her to do it. and that's just one small example of her overflowing generosity. my dogs thank her too. she gave us our veterinarian reco who we still see to this day. she was the goldenest of them all and will be forever missed.💔 pic.twitter.com/9xjLNgJaX1
— Don" 't ask me google questions" Cheadle (@DonCheadle) January 1, 2022
There were so many clips of Betty working with other actors floating around that it felt more like a celebration of Betty’s life instead of sadness. I also enjoyed people discovering how Betty helped Black tap dancer, Arthur Duncan, launch his career back in the 1954 by having him on her show. Betty’s variety show ended up being canceled because she refused to bow to the racist ideals of the executives and fans who did not want Duncan on Betty’s show. Betty definitely was a trailblazer and an amazing human being. Even though we have lost a star, the brightness of Betty’s legacy will shine on for eternity. We’ll miss you Betty and we hope that your reunion with your love Allen Ludden and the other Golden Girls is lit!
She made us laugh. Thank you Betty White. RIP. pic.twitter.com/d6XeLrlnm1
— Pete Souza (@PeteSouza) December 31, 2021
Only President Obama could top Betty White!! This is Awesome!! SOUND UP
— Chuck And Jim 🏳️🌈 👬🐻🌪🌊🌎 #IDWP (@fireman452a) January 2, 2022