Betty White: Ryan Reynolds Leads Emotional Tributes As Cause Of Death Revealed
Tributes have been pouring in for Hollywood icon Betty White, who passed away yesterday, December 31, aged 99.
Celebrities and fans from around the world took to social media to pay their respects to the trail-blazing comedian, including President Joe Biden, who tweeted that White ‘brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans’, and told reporters, ‘who didn’t love Betty White?’
‘The world looks different now. She was great at defying expectation. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret,’ wrote Ryan Reynolds, who starred alongside White in The Proposal and enjoyed a close relationship with her, with the Golden Girls star joking that Reynolds still ‘can’t get over her’, in an interview with PEOPLE magazine released just two days before her death.
Michelle Obama added to the tributes by sharing an image of White alongside the Obamas’ dog, Bo, who passed away earlier this year, writing, ‘Betty White broke barriers, defied expectations, served her country, and pushed us all to laugh. Barack and I join so many around the world who will miss the joy she brought to the world. I know our Bo is looking forward to seeing her up in heaven.’
‘RIP Betty White, the only SNL host I ever saw get a standing ovation at the after party. A party at which she ordered a vodka and a hotdog and stayed til the bitter end,’ wrote Seth Meyers, recalling White’s record-setting appearance as the sketch show’s oldest-ever host in 2010.
Memories were also shared by White’s fellow nonagenarians, including 95-year-old Mel Brooks, who wrote, ‘Sad news. No more Betty White. Too bad we couldn’t get another ten years of her always warm, gracious, and witty personality. She was one of a kind!’ and 92-year-old Bob Newhart who tweeted, ‘I had the honor of working with Betty White on my series BOB & the finale of Hot in Cleveland. She was such a pro! My 1st standup TV appearance was April 1960 on Jack Paar & Betty was a guest. Today, we lost a giant.’
White was also praised for her long-standing support of civil rights activism, with the Martin Luther King, Jr Center posting an anecdote about her refusal to bow to pressure to remove a black dancer from her show.
‘In 1954, #BettyWhite was criticized after having Arthur Duncan, a Black tap dancer, on her show,’ the Center tweeted. ‘Her response: ‘I’m sorry. Live with it.’ She then gave Duncan even more airtime. The show was canceled soon after.’
The flood of tributes came as White’s agent, Jeff Witjas, confirmed to PEOPLE that the star had ‘died peacefully in her sleep at her home’ of natural causes, just three weeks before her 100th birthday.
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