Betty White has passed away at the age of 99. However, the celebrated and legendary actress lived her life to its fullest, always looking at the bright side of life.
Through the years, White has always shown her great love for living life to its fullest, not caring about a diet or such. But while she loved life, she also learned a secret about death from her mother.
White had several houses and made a fortune throughout the course of her life. And by the time she passed, she had a breathtaking net worth.
On December 31, Betty White passed away. The news was a shock to many fans, and now, the legendary trailblazing actress is being honored worldwide.
Her close friend and agent Jeff Witjas told People that she “died peacefully in her sleep at her home.”
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” Witjas told People in a statement. “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.”
Betty White dead at 99
After the news of her passing became known to the public, Hollywood paid tribute to Betty White.
“The world looks different now. She was great at defying expectations. She managed to grow very old and, somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret,” Ryan Reynolds, her co-star on the film The Proposal, wrote on Twitter.
“I don’t drink vodka … but I will tonight, on ice, with a slice of lemon with a hot dog on the other side, and just be ok being sad. I’ll have to buy some rose-colored glasses because Betty was that for all of us,” Sandra Bullock told People.
Comedian Kathy Griffin, Betty White’s co-star on the comedy television series Suddenly Susan, also made sure to pay tribute to her. On Twitter, she shared an old story of when the two met in the 1990s.
“Betty White. Where do I begin? I’ve known her long, but I think the first time I met her was when she was a guest star on Suddenly Susan in the late 90s. Everyone was very excited she was on the show. I had accidentally parked in her parking spot that day. She walks in, yells from the back of the soundstage for everyone to hear, ‘Where’s that redheaded b*tch who stole my parking spot???’ SWOON. A friendship was born.”
In addition, President Joe Biden took to Twitter to honor Betty White, saying that she “brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans.”
Betty White – early life
Betty White lived her life to the fullest to the end. But in the last few years of her life, the actress was forced to live a life that she didn’t want to.
Born on January 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois, Betty White was the only child of parents Horace White and Tess Curts White. The family moved to Los Angeles during the Great Depression, and as a child, White wasn’t thinking of a career in acting.
She dreamed about working as a forest ranger or a writer. However, when in high school, she fell in love with acting,
After graduating high school, Betty White had found her true passion in acting. She first worked in radio and had her show, The Betty White Show. Not long after, she moved on to be an assistant at a local television station.
While working on local television, a sketch became White’s ticket to fame. Then, in the early 1950s, Betty, alongside George Tibbles, launched her first television series, Life with Elizabeth.
“He wrote, and I produced,” White told The Hollywood Reporter. “I was one of the first women producers in Hollywood.”
It was clear from the beginning that Betty White was a tremendous talent in Hollywood. She took over the reins of television, and in 1951, she was nominated for her first Primetime Emmy Award for Best Actress. It was groundbreaking since it was the first-ever category to recognize the achievements of women at the Emmy Awards.
Betty White co-hosted the variety show Hollywood on Television alongside Al Jarvis in 1949, and three years later, she became the only host. She spent hours and hours working on the show, six days a week for four years.
Married three times
Betty White’s career in show business had just started, but as the 1950s arrived, she had already been married twice: first to Dick Barker, then to Lane Allen. Unfortunately, neither marriage lasted long, with both ending in divorce.
She met her third husband, Allen Ludden, on the game show Password in the 1960s. He was the host, and the pair immediately hit it off. Betty was cautious at the start, given her two failed marriages, but when she met Allen again on the set of a play they were both in, she knew this was the real deal, and they started dating.
Unfortunately, the two stars lived at opposite ends of the country — Betty in California and Allen in New York. Nevertheless, they maintained a long-distance relationship for a while. Eventually, Allen proposed to Betty, only for her to turn him down as she didn’t want to relocate to New York.
Despite her refusal, however, Allen refused to give up. He persisted with the proposals, and, eventually, Betty said yes.
The two tied the knot in 1963 and enjoyed successful careers while blissfully in love. Sadly, in 1981, Allen passed away from stomach cancer, and Betty never remarried.
Stepdaughter opposed marriage
She became a proud stepmother to three stepkids, who called her “Dragon Lady.”
However, their relationship wasn’t all that great in the beginning. As reported by Closer, her stepdaughter Martha had “some anger” towards Betty when her father remarried.
“Martha was young, and she deeply opposed the marriage. She was very angry at her father and made it clear she did not like Betty.”
An insider added that Allen and Martha’s father-daughter relationship was “strained from the start. However, his marriage with the White was a tipping point.
“Allen used to argue with Martha constantly over her anger towards Betty,” the source explained. “Her tumultuous relationship with her father caused him a lot of grief.”
In an interview with Oprah, Betty revealed that her only regret in life was not spending more time with Allen in the 1960s.
“I spent a whole year, wasted a whole year that Allen and I could have had together, saying, ‘No, I wouldn’t marry him. No, I won’t, No, I won’t leave California. No, I won’t move to New York,’” she recalled. “I wasted a whole year we could have had together.”
Why she never remarried
Betty also explained why she had no interest in a fourth marriage: “Once you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?”
Betty White was a massive star in the sitcom category of television, and in 1973, she took the next step towards becoming a true legend. Starring as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, White – alongside co-stars Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Asner, and Cloris Leachman, among others – cemented herself a spot in television history for her portrayal of Sue Ann Nivens.
Betty White received two Emmys for her performance on The Mary Tyler Moore Show for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series two years in a row, and it sure was a special moment.
“When they announced my name that night, and Ed Asner presented it to me, I was a mess,” White recalled.
“I was so excited, so happy. And so grateful. I started out as an actress in the business, but then I did game shows and talk shows. I became a ‘television personality.’ So everybody was so surprised. ‘Why Betty can act, isn’t that amazing?’ It really did turn my career completely around.”
Betty White’s love for animals
In the 1980s through the 1990s, Betty White continued to show her great talents while starring as Rose Nylund on the hit show The Golden Girls. From there, she moved on to appear in numerous television shows and films all the way to 2019, when she was credited with her last ever role.
Throughout her whole life, White had a great love for animals and tried helping in any possible way. She was involved with the animal welfare group American Humane for over 60 years and became their national ambassador.
In 2012, she was honored with its highest honor, the National Humanitarian Medal, and its Legacy Award for a lifetime of helping animals.
“Betty White is a tireless and devoted animal welfare advocate, and we are proud to honor her with these two special awards,” American Humane President and CEO Robin Ganzert said in a statement at the time. “Betty is an inspiration to me personally, to everyone at American Humane Association, and millions of animal lovers around the globe.”
For over 30 years, Betty White was a significant donor to the non-profit organization Guide Dogs for the Blind. She also volunteered with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association for more than 40 years as a trustee and chair.
Betty White’s mother taught her secret about death
Betty White strongly supported the educational mission of zoos worldwide and the conservation aspect.
“Zoos have changed dramatically in our lifetimes,” White wrote for the Los Angeles Zoo, as reported by CNN. “Our zoo animals serve as ambassadors to the public — to make people aware of the diminishing wild populations before it is too late. A message that will only register by seeing these wondrous creatures live and up close.”
Betty White always lived her life to its fullest. She was praised for her positivity through the years, and she had her particular ways to live a long and happy life.
At the time of her passing, she had a net worth of around $75 million.
Even though Betty White has passed – just weeks short of her 100th birthday – her legacy will always live on. She is grieved by family, friends, and fans – but one thing that gives some comfort is that White already learned a secret about death as a child.
In 2011, Betty White revealed to interviewer Joy Behar that her Golden Girls co-star Estelle Getty was scared of her mortality. Because of the fear, Getty had a hard time filming the scenes in the show that took place at funerals.
During the interview, Behar asked White if she was afraid of her mortality, considering that in 2011, all her Golden Girls co-star had passed?
And Betty White sure had a unique viewpoint on death.
Now, she knows the secret fans never wanted her to know
“My mother had the most wonderful approach to death,” White said. “She always — even growing up — she said, ‘We know so many things. We know almost everything in the world. But we don’t know what happens at that moment. A lot of people think they do, but they don’t.’”
“So, whenever we’d lose somebody, she’d say, ‘Now, he knows the secret,’” White added.
While we will miss Betty White, it’s comforting to think that the legendary actress now “knows the secret.”
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