The world was met with tragic news when the public was informed of the death of Betty White, a remarkable actress whose career spanned over eight decades and whose life influenced many people. The actress passed away the morning of Dec. 31, 2021, and the information about her death was released to the media later that day.
White was born on Jan. 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois, with her family deciding to move to California a year later. While in California, she pursued writing, which led her to discover her love for acting and inspired her to become an actress.
She is also remembered for her animal rights activism, although she did not consider what she did as activism, as she devoted a big part of her life to helping animals. Her love for animals and support for a variety of animal organizations resulted in fans donating money to shelters and rescues in her name to honor her upcoming birthday.
There is an endless list of achievements the comedienne is famous for, especially her role in the comedy “Golden Girls,” which aired from 1985 to 1992. She also holds the Guinness World Record for “Longest TV Career for a Female Entertainer,” spending 82 years on screen.
Many people are not aware that White was the first woman ever to appear on television when she took part in an experimental broadcast. This accomplishment was later followed by her becoming the first woman to star in a sitcom, the first woman to receive an Emmy nomination, as well as the first woman to produce a national TV show.
Her breakthroughs caved the way for other women to be able to pursue their dreams in the entertainment industry, breaking societal expectations at the time. This was not the end of her fight for equality.
In the 1950s, White hosted her own television series called “The Betty White Show,” a talk show that, like most variety shows, included entertainment performances. The show frequently featured many different performers, one of the series regulars being a tap dancer named Arthur Duncan.
Because Duncan was a black man, producers pressured White to fire and replace him. She refused to do so, with her response being, “I’m sorry, but you know, he stays. Live with it.”
To this day, Duncan credits her for his big breakthrough in show business, especially television.
The actress would celebrate her 100th birthday this January. She passed away at her home, the reason being natural causes.
It was recently revealed that she suffered a stroke six days before her death. White’s assistant, who remained by her side, shared that her last word was “Allen,” the name of her late husband Allen Ludden.
Oak Park, her hometown, will annually honor the actress on her birthday, recognizing the day as “Betty White Day.” This year, the celebration will take place two days before, in order to not conflict with the celebration of Martin Luther King day.
While people are recovering from the heartbreaking news of her death, the world celebrates her life and reminisces about her most iconic performances and memorable moments.
Many people asked White about her secret to a long, happy life. To that, she responded, “Kindness and consideration of somebody besides yourself keeps you feeling young.”
Betty White and her legacy will forever live in people’s hearts and continue to inspire the world.