Betty White, television legend, dead at 99

The beloved White starred in series like 'Golden Girls' and films like 'The Proposal'

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Betty White, a comedy icon known for roles in "Golden Girls" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," has died. She was 99.

Her agent and close friend Jeff Witjas confirmed the news on Friday.

"Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever," Witjas said in a statement to People magazine. "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."

The cause of death is unclear. Reps for White and the Monterey County Sheriff's Department did not immediately respond to Fox News' requests for comment.

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Actress Betty White poses for a portrait in Los Angeles on June 9, 2010. White will turn 99 on Sunday, Jan. 17. 

Actress Betty White poses for a portrait in Los Angeles on June 9, 2010. White will turn 99 on Sunday, Jan. 17.  (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

White was the last living star of "Golden Girls" – a 1985-1992 comedy about four women of a certain age.

She had a rich career in films as well, most notably in "The Proposal" and more recently, "Toy Story 4."

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White's penchant for comedy never seemed to fade, as she again found success on television with the sitcom "Hot in Cleveland," which ran from 2010-2015.

Betty White has had a decades-long career in film and television.

Betty White has had a decades-long career in film and television. (Getty Images)

The star would have turned 100 on Jan. 17.

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White was born Jan. 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois and grew up in Los Angeles. She did some modeling and by the 1940s was getting work appearing on the radio. That segued into hosting a variety show on television and in 1950 she was nominated for her first Emmy.

After appearing as the title character on the television show "Life With Elizabeth" from 1952-55, White went on to appear on a number of talk and game shows in the 1950s and '60s.

In 1973, she landed the first part that brought her national recognition: Sue Ann Nivens, the conniving, sweet-as-pie-stab-you-in-the-back Happy Homemaker on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," a role that brought her back-to-back Emmys.

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White's next signature part, Rose Nylund on "The Golden Girls," was almost the opposite of Sue Ann. Rose, a native of St. Olaf, Minnesota, was sweet, naive and more than a little ditzy. She brought White another Emmy.

Later, White appeared as a guest star on a number of television shows, on the soap opera "The Bold and the Beautiful," in the 2009 film "The Proposal" and a 2010 Super Bowl ad for Snickers, before joining "Hot in Cleveland" later that year.

In more recent years, she slowed down a bit, mostly appearing in single episodes of television like "Young & Hungry," "Bones" and "SpongeBob SquarePants."

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Her final roles came in 2019 when she lent her voice to "Toy Story 4" and its Disney+ spin-off series "Forkey Asks a Question." She played a character cheekily named Bitey White.

Betty White won five Primetime Emmy Awards over the course of her career.

Betty White won five Primetime Emmy Awards over the course of her career. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)

She also lent her voice to the 2019 animated flick "Trouble."

White married three times: in 1945 to Army pilot Dick Barker, from 1947-49 to Hollywood agent Lane Allen, and to "Password" host Allen Ludden from 1963 until his death in 1981.

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White was also known for her affinity for animals. In her 2011 book "If You Ask Me (and Of Course You Won't)," she wrote: "I'm so fortunate that I not only have a passion for my profession but that that profession allows me to indulge my other passion — for animals — and work for their welfare. If I was in any other profession, people might not listen to me."

The actress was an extremely active supporter of a number of animal organizations and zoos.

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Stars were heartbroken to hear about White's passing, flocking to social media to share tributes to the groundbreaking artist.

"What an exceptional life," tweeted Ellen DeGeneres. "I’m grateful for every second I got to spend with Betty White. Sending love to her family, friends and all of us."

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Kathy Griffin posted a lengthy tribute on Twitter, recalling meeting White during the star's guest spot on "Suddenly Susan."

"I had accidentally parked in her parking spot that day. She walks in, yells from the back of the soundstage for everyone to hear ‘Where’s that redheaded b---h who stole my parking spot???’ SWOON. A friendship was born."

"So sad to hear about Betty White passing," Reese Witherspoon tweeted. "I loved watching her characters that brought so much joy. Thank you, Betty, for making us all laugh!"

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Said Valerie Bertinelli: "Rest in peace, sweet Betty. My God, how bright heaven must be right now."