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Legendary actor Betty White has died about two weeks before what would have been her 100th birthday on Jan. 17, according to numerous reports. TMZ first reported that the death of the commedienne and actress whose career spanned nine decades, and who was affectionately known as the “Mayor of Hollywood.”
The “Golden Girl’s” death comes shortly after she was featured on the cover of People magazine, where she described herself as “lucky to be in such good health.”
People amended the online edition of the magazine to note that “her rep [had] confirmed” the actress’s death.
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” agent Jeff Witjas told People on Friday. “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.”
On Twitter, the surprise and dismay over her death was palpable for the star who was born in the Chicago suburb Oak Park, Ill., on Jan. 17, 1922, and graduated Beverly Hills High School after her parents moved the family to California during the Great Depression. “Betty White” became the U.S.’s No. 1 Twitter trend Friday afternoon, and the beloved actress was leading real-time Google search trends, as well.
Steve Martin and White’s fellow Oak Park native Kathy Griffin shared their personal anecdotes about the beloved icon of television.
Below are a collection of reactions from entertainers and fans around the world. Many, including Ellen DeGeneres, remarked on White’s “exceptional life.”
“Star Trek” star George Takei called her a “national treasure.”
“A spirit of goodness and hope. Betty White was much beloved because of who she was, and how she embraced a life well lived,” wrote Dan Rather.
“Tonight we will raise MANY glasses to the WONDERFUL legacy of Betty White!!!” tweeted Andy Cohen.