Golden Girls star and comedy icon Betty White has died at the age of 99. The tragic news will come as a surprise to fans. Just days ago she was sharing her gratitude for her good health heading towards her 100th birthday, with TMZ noting that the actor passed away in her home early this morning. The cause of death is not known. White’s most notable performance may be her starring role in the sitcom Golden Girls. She has a long and hilarious career that dates back to the ’40s.
Her agent and close friend Jeff Witjas shared, “Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever.” “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.”
White got her start in radio and became a disc-jockey personality under the guidance of Al Jarvis, with her jump to the small screen coming alongside Jarvis as a co-host of Hollywood on Television in 1949. She would go on to host Password, Match Game, Tattletales, To Tell the Truth, The Hollywood Squares, and The $25,000 Pyramid.
White earned multiple Emmy Awards for her work on The Mary Tyler Moore show and joined the cast of The Golden Girls in 1985. She would receive multiple more nominations in subsequent years. White hosted Saturday Night Live at the age of 88, making her the oldest person to host the show.
This week, PEOPLE Magazine reflected on the star’s many accomplishments ahead of her 100th birthday, as she noted of her longevity, “I try to avoid anything green. Our thoughts are with White’s family and friends.