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Hollywood legend, Betty White, passed at 99 just before her 100th birthday

The last Golden Girl, Betty White, has passed today at age 99. She was just days away from turning 100.

In a terrible way to end 2021, one of Hollywood's greatest treasures, the iconic, trailblazing, hilarious, and loving actress Betty White has passed at the age of 99. According to TMZ, the first outlet to report the sad news, local authorities confirmed she passed early this morning, around 9:30, at her home. Moments ago, one of her closest friends and agent, Jeff Witjas, confirmed the news.

Betty White was about to turn 100 in January and to celebrate she paired with People Magazine to release a special issue which is now on stands. The actress was also planning a big party inviting everybody to join her.

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Who was Betty White?

Betty White was a pioneer in the industry with the record of the longest-running career any woman has had on television. She started her legendary career in 1939 and kept working until recently. One of her most famous roles was that of Rose Nylund in the praised show The Golden Girls, which had an amazing run from 1985 to 1992. 

She was born on January 17, 1922, in Illinois. However, when she was only one year old, her family moved to Los Angeles trying to get through the harsh times of the Great Depression. Betty always had a passion for animals and wildfire, and she even considered making a career as a forest ranger, unfortunately, back in the day, that was a job exclusive to men shattering her first dream. Throughout all her life, Betty White supported associations that committed to the environment and animal preservation.

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Acting career

In high school, White discovered a new passion after writing and performing in a school play. She had her first gig at eight years old in 1930 when she appeared in an episode of the radio show Empire Builders. Nine years later, she would get her first TV job singing the songs of The Merry Widow. Decided she wanted to make a career in the industry, White started modeling while auditioning on several projects. 

When WWII broke out, White decided to put her career on hold to serve as a volunteer at the American Women's Voluntary Services. She would transport goods and supplies throughout California and eventually would perform at military events. When the war was over, she was determined to resume her career only to find that the industry found her not that photogenic to make her a star. Still, she's always kept herself optimistic and started looking for radio gigs.

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Betty kept working and eventually went back to television on contest shows, soap operas, late shows, and even commercials. Soon, the studios realized she was more than just the average American girl, she had great comic timing that stole every spotlight.

Golden Girls

By the 1980s, Betty White was already a Hollywood treasure. In 1983 she became the very first woman to ever win a Daytime Emmy for her work in Just Men. This made her known in the industry as "The First Lady of Game Shows." 

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In 1985, she would start the greatest role in her career in the show The Golden Girls, where she starred along with Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty, and Rue McClanahan. Her amazing work on the series won her an Emmy on the first season of the show, and she would be nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for the remaining of the series. When the series ended in 1992, she appeared in the spin-off The Golden Palace, but the series didn't have the success the original one had, and it was canceled after only one season.

Last acting job

Betty White Kept working for decades bringing light into each of her appearances. Her last jobs were voicing gigs in 2019, one was the endearing Toy Story 4 as Bitey White, an adorable toddler chewing tiger. The other one was in the animated film Trouble. 

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She had been preparing a special show to celebrate her 100th birthday along with great celebrities like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ryan Reynolds, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Carol Burnett, and Jimmy Kimmel. Most likely the show will be aired as some sort of homage to one of Hollywood's dearest.

Despite the many changes the industry has had, Betty White always remained true to herself, giving us lessons about optimism and sassiness like no other. She's listed in 115 acting credits, including The Proposal, The Betty White Show, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She will be truly missed.

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Photos from Shutterstock

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